An observational study into the management of arteriomegaly: a call for a revised classification system

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Arteriomegaly is the diffuse ectasia of arteries with or without aneurysmal disease. Patients with arteriomegaly have a higher incidence of morbidity including limb loss compared to patients with other arteriopathies. The aim of this observational study was to review the management of these patients in our institution.


Radiologists and surgeons prospectively reviewed aortofemoral angiography. Patients with arteriomegaly were identified. Data relating to demographics, mode of presentation, risk factors, type of arteriomegaly, management and progression of disease were analysed.


Arteriomegaly was identified in 1.3% of patients (n=69) undergoing lower limb angiography in the study period. Of these, the majority (n=67) were men. The mean age was 74 years (range: 60–89 years) and 76% were smokers. Co-morbidities included coronary artery disease (55%), diabetes mellitus (20%), hypertension (45%) and cerebrovascular events (6%). Fortynine patients presented with critical limb ischaemia and eighteen patients were seen electively in the outpatients department with symptoms of intermittent claudication. Data were incomplete for two male patients and were therefore not included. At presentation, 22 patients were classified as Hollier type I, 5 were type II and 9 were type III. Thirty-one patients had arteriomegalic vessels but no aneurysmal disease.


After a median follow-up duration of 76 months (range: 6–146 months), 34 patients progressed to type I, 2 to type II and 18 to type III. Thirteen remained without aneurysmal disease. Twenty-nine patients required angioplasty and twenty-eight required bypass surgery during this time. In total, 102 procedures were required for complicated disease. The limb salvage rate was 92%. Although 8 patients in our series died, the remaining 59 are under regular follow up.


This study illustrates the progressive nature of arteriomegaly. Results of the management of these patients in our institution are similar to those in the literature. We suggest an additional fourth category to Hollier's classification that describes arteriomegalic disease without aneurysmal degeneration as this, too, deserves special management. Regular follow-up visits and early intervention for patients with arteriomegaly is advocated to reduce the high incidence of morbidity.

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