A Contemporary Review of Popliteal Artery Aneurysms

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Popliteal artery aneurysms account for 85% of all peripheral aneurysms and are frequently associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms. Up to 75% of all popliteal artery aneurysms are discovered in symptomatic patients who present with arterial insufficiency, leg swelling, or pain. Popliteal artery aneurysms can be diagnosed with duplex ultrasonography. Aneurysm repair should be considered for all symptomatic patients with rest pain or limb-threatening symptoms. Asymptomatic aneurysms larger than 2 cm should also be treated to prevent the development of limb-threatening ischemia and assure better surgical bypass graft patency and longer freedom from amputation. Conventional aneurysm repair consists of either opening the aneurysm sac and interposing a bypass graft or aneurysm ligation combined with bypass grafting. If the aneurysm sac is left intact, side branch perfusion may persist and the aneurysm may continue to enlarge and can rupture. Endovascular popliteal aneurysm repair has not demonstrated clinical equipoise to standard surgery but may be advantageous in select high-risk patients.

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