Aneurysmal pathology of the arteries of the lower extremities
What is it?
It is a dilation of the artery that carries blood to the lower extremities, primarily the popliteal artery. It is considered pathologic if it has a transverse diameter of more than one and a half times the normal diameter. Those most at risk are people who already have other diseases such as atherosclerosis with its associated risk factors (smoking, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension), trauma, congenital diseases. Generally, people over 50 years of age are more at risk.
Which are the symptoms?
It is a predominantly asymptomatic pathology. In some cases, it can cause artery occlusion with limb ischemia or rupture.
- cramping calf pain
- pain in the thigh and buttocks
- hypothermia and cyanosis of the limbs
- claudication intermittens
- peripheral ulcers
- distal gangrene
- pulsating mass in the back of the knee
How is it diagnosed?
Patients with the described symptoms are at high risk for suspicion of aneurysmal popliteal artery disease and should undergo imaging tests.
How is it treated?
Surgical treatment: it is implemented by replacing (bypass) the aneurysmal artery with a synthetic or biological prosthesis (saphenous vein). Endovascular treatment: feasible only in some cases. Percutaneously (without incisions), arteriography is performed, and one or more covered stents (metal mesh tubes) are implanted.
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