Home > Journals > International Angiology > Past Issues > International Angiology 2006 March;25(1) > International Angiology 2006 March;25(1):93-7





A Journal on Angiology

Official Journal of the International Union of Angiology, the International Union of Phlebology and the Central European Vascular Forum
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,37



Case reports  

International Angiology 2006 March;25(1):93-7


language: English

Spontaneous dissection of the popliteal artery in a young man. A rare cause of the blue toe syndrome

Kügler C. F. A. 1, Poser M. 1, Mosel F. 1, Ruehm S. 2, Rudofsky G. 1

1 Department and Clinic of Angiology, University of Essen, Essen, Germany 2 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University of Essen, Essen, Germany


Spontaneous arterial dissection in peripheral arteries of the extremities is an extremely rare event. We report a case of a spontaneous dissection of a nonaneurysmal popliteal artery in an otherwise healthy 36-year-old man that came to clinical attention as an acute blue toe syndrome. The diagnosis was primarily made by high-resolution duplex ultrasound that revealed a dissection flap (length: 15.5 mm; thickness: 0.4 mm) together with the partially thrombosed false lumen at the dorsal wall of the left popliteal artery (degree of local diameter reduction: 56%). Further work-up by means of contrast-enhanced MR-A and conventional DSA confirmed a moderate stenosis of the popliteal artery compatible with focal dissection and excluded other causes such as popliteal artery entrapment syndrome. Under full-dose intravenous anticoagulation with unfractionated heparin that was switched to oral anticoagulation with vitamin K antagonists (target INR: 2-3) and conservative management of the blue toe the patient made a gradual, but eventually complete clinical recovery over 8 weeks.

top of page

Publication History

Cite this article as

Corresponding author e-mail