Popliteal artery aneurysms (PAA) are the most common peripheral aneurysm.
The popliteal artery is a blood vessel situated behind the knee joint which carries oxygenated blood to the calf and foot. Atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries due to plaque build-up) and connective tissue disorder leads to PAA.
Hypertension can contribute to aneurysm formation. Non-atherosclerotic popliteal aneurysm can occur due to complication of inflammatory disorders or trauma. If left untreated, the blood clot within the aneurysm may embolize or the aneurysm may rupture or get blocked. Any of these complications can lead to limb loss or even death.
Sometimes compression of the popliteal vein may lead to distal edema and venous thrombosis (DVT).
Arterial Duplex Ultrasound is used for diagnosis to differentiate PAA from other popliteal fossa pathologies such us Baker cysts or tumors. Computed tomographic angiography (CTA), magnetic resonance angiography, and/or invasive arteriography are used to plan an endovascular treatment.
Traditionally, popliteal artery aneurysm (PAA) has been treated surgically. However, an endovascular stent graft through a small puncture in the groin is a safer alternative as it requires no general anesthesia. Endovascular stent graft has shown excellent perioperative outcomes.