A doctor will conduct a physical examination to look for swelling, tenderness, or changes in skin color or warmth on the lower leg and behind the knee in order to diagnose popliteal artery aneurysm. Your medical background and health behaviors, such as smoking, may be questioned.
A popliteal artery aneurysm diagnosis can be supported by imaging testing. Your doctor might advise the following if you exhibit popliteal artery aneurysm symptoms:
- Duplex ultrasound. This noninvasive test makes use of sound waves to examine the arteries and veins’ blood flow. The diagnosis of a popliteal artery aneurysm is easy. A small hand-held instrument (transducer) is gently moved on the skin behind and around the knee throughout the test by a medical professional.
- Computed Tomography (CT) angiography or Magnetic Resonance (MR) angiography. Detailed pictures of blood flow in the arteries can be obtained via CT and MR angiography. An injection of contrast dye is made into a blood vessel prior to the imaging procedure to make the arteries more visible.
The size of the aneurysm, the symptoms, the patient’s age, and general health all have a role in how the condition is treated.
Treatment options include:
- Careful observation. If the aneurysm is minor, you’ll need frequent examinations and ultrasounds for monitoring.
- Medications. People with popliteal artery aneurysms are typically prescribed aspirin or another blood thinner (anticoagulant). Anticoagulants may require IV administration. To treat heart disease signs and symptoms, doctors may also prescribe blood pressure and cholesterol drugs.
- Surgery. For any size of popliteal artery aneurysm that is generating symptoms or for any aneurysm that is 0.8 inches (2 centimeters) or greater, open surgery to repair the damaged artery is typically advised. The popliteal artery may occasionally be kept open by inserting a stent inside of it during a less intrusive surgery known as endovascular repair.