Variations in anatomy of the popliteal artery and its side branches

  • Kropman R
  • Kiela G
  • Moll F
 et al. 
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Abstract

Knowledge of anatomic variations of the popliteal artery is essential for the management of peripheral vascular disease and in orthopedic surgery. The aim of this study was to perform an overview of the literature describing variations of the popliteal artery. To identify relevant literature, we performed a systematic search on MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. We included 4 studies of anatomic dissections and 11 radiologic retrospective series, comprising 7671 limbs, and a variation in popliteal branching was seen in almost 10%. The 3 most frequent variations in branching are a high origin of the anterior tibial artery, the trifurcation of the anterior tibial artery, peroneal artery, and posterior tibial artery, and a hypoplastic or aplastic posterior tibial artery. Awareness of the terminal branching pattern of the popliteal artery before intervention enhances the planning for successful operations and may reduce the incidence of serious, unexpected arterial injury.

Author-supplied keywords

  • anatomy
  • branching
  • popliteal artery
  • variation

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Authors

  • Rogier H J Kropman

  • Geraldine Kiela

  • Frans L. Moll

  • Jean Paul P M De Vries

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