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October 1985

Popliteal Vein Aneurysm Causing Pulmonary Embolus

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgery, Hartford (Conn) Hospital (Dr Gallagher); and the Division of Vascular Surgery, Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit (Dr Hageman).

Arch Surg. 1985;120(10):1173-1175. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390340069013

• A case of pulmonary embolus arising from a popliteal vein aneurysm is reviewed. These aneurysms are believed to be developmental in origin; with the exception of embolic phenomenon, these venous anomalies are generally asymptomatic. To our knowledge, only six cases have been previously reported. Physical examination was not helpful, and noninvasive studies were of no value in detecting the aneurysm. Venography was the only reliable diagnostic test. Because popliteal vein aneurysms are a potential source of emboli, surgical intervention is recommended. Venous aneurysmorrhaphy or excision of the aneurysm with a venous bypass are the surgical procedures most often carried out. Aneurysmorrhaphy appears to be associated with an unacceptably high rate of thrombosis; excision with placement of a vein graft may be a more satisfactory alternative.

(Arch Surg 1985;120:1173-1175)