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Iliac artery aneurysm

Iliac arterial aneurysms occurs where there is focal dilatation of the iliac artery although the dimensions that define the aneurysm are dependant on the sex of the patient and the portion of the artery involved. A common iliac artery (CIA) with a diameter ≥ 1.7 cm in males or ≥ 1.5 cm in females is considered aneurysmal, similarly internal iliac artery diameter ≥ 0.8 cm is aneurysmal. 


Iliac artery aneurysms are associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), 10-20% of AAAs involve the iliac arteries. Isolated iliac artery aneurysm are uncommon, accounting for less than 2% of abdominal aneurysms. Common iliac artery is most commonly involved i.e. 70%, whereas the internal iliac artery is involved in 25%. Iliac artery aneurysms are bilateral in approximately 30% cases. External iliac arterial involvement is very rare 1-2

They are more common in men, with the incidence rising with age. 

Clinical presentation

Usually asymptomatic and discovered incidentally on imaging studies. Occasionally they present with mass effect and cause compression with gastrointestinal, genitourinary (hydronephrosis) and neurologic symptoms (sciatica). Ruptured aneurysms present with acute abdominal pain and shock. Patients may also present with leg cellulitis, oedema or claudication. 


Causes 1
Classification of isolated iliac arterial aneurysms1  

Isolated iliac artery aneurysms (IIAs) are classified according to their anatomy. The proximal non-aneurysmal artery is defined as the proximal neck or landing zone and distal non-aneurysmal artery is defined as the distal landing zone. This classification allows selection of appropriate candidates for endovascular or surgical therapy. 

  • type A
    • the CIA aneurysm proximally involves or extends within 1.5 cm of the aortic bifurcation. 
    • distally it extends to or beyond the internal iliac artery. 
  • type B -
    • the CIA aneurysm has an adequate proximal neck (i.e. ≥1.5cm of non aneurysmal artery). 
    • there is however, no distal landing zone. 
  • type C - the CIA has an adequate proximal neck as well as a distal landing zone. 
  • type D - a solitary internal iliac artery aneurysm which spares the internal iliac artery origin. 
  • type E - the CIA aneurysm extends into the internal iliac artery.

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