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Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2008;4(1):83-8.

Diagnosis and surgical approach of popliteal artery entrapment syndrome: a retrospective study.

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Second Surgical Department, 401 General Army Hospital of Athens, Greece.



Popliteal artery entrapment syndrome (PAES) is a rare but potentially limb threatening peripheral vascular disease occurring predominantly in young adults. This study is a retrospective review of 49 limbs in 38 patients with PAES treated surgically over an 8-year period.


From 1995 to 2002, 38 patients with a mean age of 21 years (range, 18-29 years) underwent surgery for PAES at a single institution. The patients' demographic data and clinical features are recorded. The preoperative diagnosis of PAES was made based on various combinations of investigations including positional stress test, duplex ultrasonography, computed tomography, computed tomographic angiography, and angiography.


Nine, 33, and 7 patients had Delaney's type I, II, and III PAES respectively. The surgical procedures consisted of simple release of the popliteal artery in 33 limbs (67.3%), autogenous saphenous vein (ASV) patch angioplasty with or without thromboendarterectomy (TEA) in 5 limbs (10.2%) and ASV graft interposition or bypass in 11 limbs (22.5%). At a median follow up of 34 months (range, 8-42 months), there were no postoperative complications and all the patients were cured of their symptoms.


PAES is an unusual but important cause of peripheral vascular insufficiency especially in young patients. Early diagnosis through a combined approach is necessary for exact diagnosis. Popliteal artery release alone or with vein bypass is the treatment of choice when intervention is indicated for good operative outcome and to prevent limb loss.


diagnosis; entrapment syndrome; popliteal artery; surgery; treatment

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