Popliteal venous aneurysm

Last revised by Calum Worsley on 24 Apr 2023

Popliteal venous aneurysms are rare than those of the popliteal artery and are mostly asymptomatic. However, due to the disturbance of the venous blood flow, they can lead to potentially life-threatening consequences, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

Popliteal venous aneurysms are uncommon, during duplex ultrasound scans an incidence of 0.1-0.2% was observed, with a slight left-sided and female predominance 1.

The pathogenesis is currently poorly understood. Congential weakness of the venous wall, inflammation, trauma, and hemodynamic changes have all been suggested as causative factors 2

Used to be the gold standard, no longer routinely used 1-3.

The initial imaging modality of choice, sensitive, with color Doppler also allows dynamic evaluation of blood flow. 

CT and MRI angiography are also capable of demonstrating the pathology 4

Open surgical repair is the mainstay of the treatment 1,4

  • deep vein thrombosis

  • pulmonary embolism

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