Several opacification techniques can be used to visualize all or part of the venous system of the lower limbs.
This is performed by percutaneous puncture of a vein of the dorsum of the foot with the patient in the supine position on a large-cassette serial radiography apparatus. A series of tourni quets is applied at different levels (malleoli, knees, proximal thigh), essentially to reveal deep vein thromboses’ of the iliac, femoral, popliteal and leg veins. However, the gastrocnemial, soleal and profunda femoris veins are not opacified by this technique.
Dynamic retrograde femoral phlebography
Performed in the standing position, this examination can demonstrate absence of deep vein valves and can opacify an incompetent saphenous system.
Several selective varicography techniques are used to visualize varicose veins and their blood supply (Figure 4).
Their invasive nature and the need to inject a contrast agent which modifies hemodynamic conditions have gradually led these examinations to be replaced by ultrasound techniques.
However, several territories can only be precisely investigated by dynamic phlebography and varicography. These techniques were used to define the pathophysiology of the gastrocne mial veins and were also used to study anatomi cal variants of the short saphenous vein and associated reflux, as well as the convection of the tributaries of the arch of the long saphenous vein with veins derived from the pelvis.
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