Objective: Popliteal artery aneurysms (PAA) are frequently treated with ligation and exclusion bypass grafting. It is assumed that these aneurysms will shrink and remain asymptomatic. This may not always be true. We sought to elucidate the fate of excluded PAA over time. Methods: Data for all PAAs treated with ligation and exclusion bypass grafting between 1986 and 1999 were retrospectively reviewed. Computed tomography (CT) scans and duplex ultrasound scans provided aneurysm patency data and maximal transverse diameter measurements of the popliteal artery during late postoperative follow-up. This information was compared with that from similar preoperative studies. Results: Forty-one patients (39 men, 2 women) underwent 57 ligation and exclusion bypass grafting procedures. Both preoperative and late postoperative (mean, 4.0 years; range, 0.43-13.5 years) CT scans or duplex ultrasound scans were available for review of 25 PAAs in 18 patients (ages 42-80 years; mean, 63 years). Preoperative PAA size ranged from 14 to 45 mm (mean, 28.7 mm). In late follow-up, 12 (48%) PAA had decreased in size (mean, 7.3 mm), 5 (20%) remained unchanged, and 8 (32%) increased in mean transverse diameter (mean, 5.9 mm). One large aneurysm increased by 50%. Contrast material enhancement was identified in the excluded sac in 11 aneurysms. Conclusions: PAA treated with ligation and exclusion bypass grafting often expand and can become symptomatic. This may be analogous to type II endoleak or endotension noted after aortic endovascular repair. We recommend PAA excision or endoaneurysmorrhaphy when feasible.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine