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September 1940

Anatomic Factors in Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins of Lower Extremities.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1940;66(3):783-784. doi:10.1001/archinte.1940.00190150254024

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


This little volume is the result of painstaking anatomic postmortem dissections of venous trunks in 30 human cadavers: 20 with hemorrhoids and 10 with varicose veins. The dissections included the sites of dilated veins as well as the pelvic and thoracic veins.

These studies show that the pathologic dilatation of veins is due to a congenital maldevelopment of the venous system, a lack of adequate anastomoses between the three venous systems: portal, cava inferior and azygos-hemiazygos. Thus, the real cause of disturbance lies much higher than the site of lesion. This maldevelopment of anastomoses occurs in 3 to 5 per cent of normal people. It is in this group of people that hemorrhoids and varicose veins develop. The malformation can be explained on embryologic and phylogenetic bases.

The illustrations, though quite inexpensively reproduced, are adequate. The literature embraces 119 Russian and 43 European sources. The volume is of considerable interest

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