Screening and management of asymptomatic popliteal aneurysms

J Med Screen. 2002;9(2):92-3. doi: 10.1136/jms.9.2.92.


Objectives: To determine the prevalence of popliteal aneurysms in men to enable the case for screening and elective surgery to be assessed.

Setting: Scott Research Unit, St Richards Hospital, Chichester.

Methods: The popliteal arteries of 1074 men aged between 65 and 80 were scanned with ultrasound, aneurysmal vessels >1.5 cm diameter were rescanned 5 years later to assess their rate of expansion.

Results: 11 of 1074 patients screened had a popliteal aneurysm between 15 and 26 mm, a prevalence of 1.0%. Five years later no increase in aneurysm size had occurred and no related complications were reported.

Conclusion: In men the low prevalence and complication rate of popliteal aneurysms in conjunction with the effective treatment of acutely thrombosed aneurysms provides evidence for conservative management but against screening asymptomatic popliteal aneurysms.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging
  • Aneurysm / epidemiology*
  • Aneurysm / surgery
  • Elective Surgical Procedures
  • Humans
  • Ischemia / etiology
  • Ischemia / prevention & control
  • Leg / blood supply
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Popliteal Artery*
  • Prevalence
  • Thrombosis / etiology
  • Thrombosis / prevention & control
  • Ultrasonography
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures