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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 1999 May;47(5):145-56

language: English, Italian

Popliteal aneurysms: current management and outcome

Locati P., Socrate A. M., Costantini E., Campanati B.


Background. Peripheral artery aneurysm is the most common peripheral arterial aneurysm. Clinical pictures, perioperative diagnostic evaluations, surgical treatment and results are described.
Methods. From January 1982 to September 1998, 65 popliteal aneurysms in 48 patients were treated in the Department of Vascular Surgery of Busto Arsizio Hospital. The series comprises 44 men (91.7%) and 4 women (8.3%) with mean age 65 years (range 44 to 87 years). At the time of surgery, 38 of the 65 aneurysms (58%) were treated because symptomatic: 31 (82%) for limb ischemia (17 for acute ischemia, 14 for chronic ischemia), 6 (16%) for compression on the adjacent popliteal vein and 1 (2%) for rupture. Forty-seven (72.3%) aneurysms were treated electively: 27 cases were asymptomatic and 20 others had chronic leg ischemia or compression on the popliteal vein. The operations perfomed are listed as follows: 1 primary limb amputation for irreversible ischemia, 1 lumbar sympathicectomy and 62 leg limb revascularizations with graft interposition (vein or synthetic prosthesis). The patient with aneurysmal rupture underwent leg amputation.
Results. Mean follow-up is 6.5 years (ranging from 2 months to 10 years) and revealed important differences between symptomatic versus asymptomatic patients in limb salvage and graft patency: inferential analysis of amputation incidence is significant for p<0.01 (Fisher exact test).
Conclusions. We think that surgery is the best treatment also for small popliteal aneurysms, because of their frequent complications.

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