Popliteal artery aneurysm

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[edit] Discussion of Popliteal artery aneurysm

  • The popliteal artery is considered aneurysmal if its diameter exceeds 0.7 cm.
  • True aneurysms of the popliteal artery are the most common peripheral arterial aneurysms.
  • Popliteal artery aneurysms (PAAs) are relatively uncommon compared with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs).
  • PAAs are associated with aneurysms in other locations.
    • An AAA is present in 30%–50% of patients with a PAA.
    • In contrast, PAAs are present in only about 10%–14% of patients with AAAs.
  • PAAs are bilateral in 50%–70% of cases.
  • PAAs are usually found during the 6th and 7th decades of life.
  • PAAs have a strong male predilection, with a male:female ratio ranging from 10:1 to 30:1 in published reports.


  • PAAs can be complicated by thrombosis, distal embolization of thrombotic material, and, rarely, rupture.
  • Important to diagnose PAAs because of the risk of limb-threatening thrombotic complications.
  • About 45% of patients with PAAs are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis.
  • It is currently recommended that asymptomatic PAAs be repaired unless surgery would put the patient at high risk. This recommendation is based on the high prevalence of complications regardless of the size of the aneurysm, the high amputation rate after complications develop, and the lower graft patency rate in patients who have experienced complications.


[edit] Imaging Findings for Popliteal artery aneurysm

[edit] US

  • US can help determine the presence and patency of an aneurysm and whether the aneurysm contains thrombus.
  • Color Doppler US also helps distinguish an aneurysm from a popliteal mass such as a popliteal cyst.

[edit] MRI

MR imaging may be helpful in that it will delineate the aneurysmal sac and mural thrombus.

[edit] Images

Patient #1

[edit] See Also

[edit] External Links

[edit] References for Popliteal artery aneurysm