Popliteal Artery Aneurysm in Women.
Objectives: Ninety-five per cent of those operated on for popliteal artery aneurysm (PA) are men. Thus, PAs in women are difficult to investigate. The aim was to study the disease in women.
Methods: Women treated for PA in 1987-2012, prospectively registered in the Swedish vascular registry, Swedvasc, supplemented by case records, were compared with the larger male cohort. Survival was determined through cross linkage with the National Population Registry.
Results: 1509 patients (men and women), 1872 legs, were identified; of these 74 patients (4.9%) were women, 81 legs (4.3%). The median age was 70 years in women versus 69 in men. Twenty-nine centres operated on women (range 1-7 women/centre). There were no time trends in the proportion of women operated on (p=.5). Bilateral PA occurred in 9.5% of women and 27.0% of men (p=.002). For symptomatic aneurysms, there was a larger proportion of small aneurysms (<2 cm) among women than men (24% vs. 8%, p=.005), there was no such difference in asymptomatic aneurysms. Distribution between asymptomatic and symptomatic PA was 31% versus 69%, similar to men. The prevalence of concomitant aneurysms in the aorto-iliac and femoral arteries, and the frequency of presenting symptoms were similar compared with men. Three PA were ruptured (3.7%). Thrombolysis was used in 23 of 45 legs treated for acute ischaemia (51%). Eight legs were treated with endovascular stent grafts (9.8%), compared with 7.9% in men (p=.5). Seven legs were amputated (8.6%). Crude survival was similar to men.
Conclusions: PA is similar in women and men, but bilateral disease was less common in women and symptomatic PA were more often <2 cm in diameter. Women had the same survival as men, despite women generally having better life expectancy. Although the largest series ever published on women with PA, the sample size is small, making it prone to type II statistical error.