Cardiovascular medicine clinic

Popliteal artery aneurysms




Popliteal artery aneurysms are rare but are associated with increased mortality and limb loss once patients become symptomatic. Surgical intervention is considered for medically fit patients with a popliteal artery aneurysm when the artery reaches at least 20 mm in diameter.

Article Extract

A popliteal aneurysm is defined as a popliteal artery that is at least 1.5 times the diameter of the proximal segment of the same vessel.1 However,as the entire arterial system is often enlarged a comparison between one segment and another may not be helpful; the most common size of popliteal artery is between 5 and 11mm in diameter based on sex and body size so theoretically even an 8 mm popliteal artery could be considered aneurysmal in some people.2,3 According to most authors, the popliteal artery should be a minimum of 12 mm in diameter to qualify as an aneurysm. In other words the popliteal artery should be at least 50% larger than the healthy one and at least 12 mm in diameter (Figure 1).

Picture credit: © Chris Wikoff, 2017