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Open Access Open Badges Case report

Aneurysm of antecubital vein: an unusual complication of peripheral intravenous cannulation

Debasish Debnath1*, Stuart Wallace1, Evangelia Mylona2 and Fiona Myint1

Author affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, North Middlesex University Hospital, London, N18 1QX, UK

2 Department of Pathology, North Middlesex University Hospital, London, N18 1QX, UK

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Citation and License

BMC Surgery 2007, 7:9  doi:10.1186/1471-2482-7-9

Published: 14 June 2007



Intravenous cannulation is a very common procedure. Venous aneurysm secondary to peripheral intravenous cannulation is extremely rare. Moreover, venous aneurysm can mimic other conditions and may confuse the issue.

Case presentation

We describe a case of a 45-year-old woman who was referred with the diagnosis of varicose vein of right arm. A history of intravenous cannulation at the same site was noted that raised suspicion. The swelling was compressible and turned out to be a venous aneurysm. The lesion was completely excised. Postoperative recovery was uneventful. Histology findings were in conformity with the preoperative diagnosis.


Caution should be exercised in diagnosing varicose vein at a site that bears a history of intravenous cannulation. The case also raises an important issue regarding consent. Should patients undergoing peripheral intravenous cannulation be warned of this rare complication?