Proximal long saphenous vein valves in primary venous insufficiency, histopathology and pathophysiological implications

L. Corcos, D. De Anna, M. Dini, C. Macchi, P. A. Ferrari, S. Dini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To verify some of the previous findings of venous valves described in the literature, their pathophysiological significance and clinical implications. Materials and methods: The elementary components of 65 proximal valves of the long saphenous vein and their interrelationships were subjected to histopathological examination. Valves were taken from patients subjected to long saphenous vein surgical removal for varicose veins of the lower limbs Measurements and morphological evaluations were performed by optical microscopy. Results: The valvular sinus, agger and proximal portion of the cusp underwent parallel variations of thickness. Thickening of the proximal portion of cusp was related to increase in smooth muscle cells in the agger and to elastic layer dissociation. Thickening of the distal portion of cusp depended on the collagen component; sometimes it was shortened, crumpled and led to the formation of a thickened border. The vein wall in a commissural aneurysm was usually thinner than in the valvular sinus. Alterations in the intima, in the elastic membrane and in the media were found in the 98% of the valvular annulus. Ectasis and asymmetry of the venous wall were mainly related to the muscular hypoplasia of the media. Conclusions: The development of primary venous insufficiency seems to be due to the following tissue alterations: dilatation of the valvular annulus and hypotrophy of the cusp. The hemodynamic mechanical injury increases the tissue damages of both annulus and cusps. This pathophysiologic interpretation of venous insufficiency suggests the need for detailed diagnostic procedures before reparative surgery of valves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalJournal des Maladies Vasculaires
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Saphenous vein
  • Varicose veins
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Venous valves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Proximal long saphenous vein valves in primary venous insufficiency, histopathology and pathophysiological implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this