Are Small Popliteal Aneurysm so Innocent?

Published:January 04, 2022DOI:


      We recently recorded 5 lower limb ischemia related to a small (diameter≤20 mm) popliteal artery aneurysm (PAA) thrombosis hence we performed a retrospective data analysis on small symptomatic PAA management from our database.


      We performed a retrospective cohort study on 48 acute leg ischemia from aneurysm's thrombosis. All of them underwent surgical distal thrombectomy and bypass creation. Patients were divided into 2 different cohorts: GROUP A (diameter ≥20 mm) and GROUP B (diameter ≤20 mm). Differences in terms of the limb salvage (end-point: the amputation rate) was analyzed and considered significative for P ≤ 0.05. Secondary objectives were: vessel runoff recovery and patency rate. Adverse events were collected at 12 and 24 months postoperative.


      Two-year overall amputation rate was: 22.9% (11/48); 21.8% (7/32) in GROUP A and 25% (4/16) in GROUP B (RR:0.87, CI:0.29–2.55, p.80). The mean age was 68 ± 13 years, No statistically significant differences were identified in term of primary and secondary patency (RR:0.95, CI:0.55-1.6, p.85 and (RR:0.95, CI:0.53-1.7, p.88 respectively) no differences were found in terms of comorbidities. Patients’ follow-up ranged from 8 to 36 months. In 90% of those amputated patients, the length of ischemia exceeded 4 days. Amputation rate was correlated with one runoff vessel recovery, only.


      s According these results small PAA are not as innocent as it is often presumed and was associated with not negligible incidence of limb loss due to thrombosis or distal embolizations also if compared to larger aneurysm. The immediate surgery is mandatory also when the ischemia exceeds 2 days.


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