Popliteal artery aneurysms: A review

M. Loukas, Z. Klaassen, R. S. Tubbs, N. Apaydin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Popliteal artery aneurysms (PAAs) are the most common form of peripheral arterial aneurysms. The popliteal artery is the continuation of the femoral artery and represents the major source of blood to the leg. Thrombus formation as a result of PAA may reduce blood flow, leading to limb-threatening ischemia and potential limb amputation. Popliteal artery aneurysms are predominantly seen in males (95-99% of cases), presumably owing to their predisposition for arteriosclerosis, which is also a major factor for PAA predisposition. Additionally, it is not uncommon to see an abdominal aortic aneurysm associated with a PAA (30-50% of cases) or bilateral presentation of PAA (∼50% of cases). A consequence of a PAA and thrombus located in the popliteal fossa is an inflammatory reaction, potentially involving adjacent structures in the fossa. This may present clinically as pain in the leg and/or edema. Treatment of PAA involves either a conservative management protocol or a more aggressive intervention such as surgery. Proponents of conservative management will regulate the diameter of the aneurysm by ultrasound, while those in favor of surgical intervention will repair the aneurysm through a number of open surgical methods or by endovascular stent grafting. This review summarizes the historical points related to PAA and analyzes the pertinent anatomical implications, clinical findings and treatment methods for PAA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-276
Number of pages5
JournalFolia Morphologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Aneurysm
  • Lower limb
  • Popliteal artery
  • Popliteal fossa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology


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