A systematic review and meta-analysis of treatment and natural history of popliteal artery aneurysms

Brad Beuschel, Tarek Nayfeh, Ahmad Kunbaz, Abdullah Haddad, Muayad Alzuabi, Shravani Vindhyal, Alik Farber, M. Hassan Murad

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To summarize the best available evidence comparing open vs endovascular popliteal artery aneurysm (PAA) repair. We also summarized the natural history of PAAs to support of the Society for Vascular Surgery guidelines. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane databases, and Scopus for studies of patients with PAAs treated with an open vs an endovascular approach. We also included studies of natural history of untreated patients. Studies were selected and appraised by pairs of independent reviewers. A meta-analysis was performed when appropriate. Results: We identified 32 original studies and 4 systematic reviews from 2191 candidate references. Meta-analysis showed that compared with the endovascular approach, open surgical repair was associated with higher primary patency at 1 year (odds ratio [OR], 2.10; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.41-3.12), lower occlusion rate at 30 days (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.24-0.68) and fewer reinterventions (OR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.17-0.45), but a longer hospital stay (standardized mean difference, 2.16; 95% CI, 1.23-3.09) and more wound complications (OR, 5.18; 95% CI, 2.19-12.26). There was no statistically significant difference in primary patency at 3 years (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 0.97-1.97), secondary patency (OR, 1.59; 95% CI, 0.84-3.03), mortality at the longest follow-up (OR, 0.49; 95% CI, 0.21-1.17), mortality at 30 days (OR, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.06-1.36), or amputation (incidence rate ratio, 0.85; 95% CI, 0.56-1.31). The certainty in these estimates was, in general, low. Studies of PAA natural history suggest that thromboembolic complications and amputation develop at a mean observation time of 18 months and they are frequent. One study showed that at 5 years, approximately one-half of the patients had complications. Conclusions: This systematic review provides event rates for outcomes important to patients with PAAs. Despite the low certainty of the evidence, these rates along with surgical expertise and anatomic feasibility can help patients and surgeons to engage in shared decision-making.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121S-125S.e14
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Aneurysm
  • Guideline
  • Meta-analysis
  • Popliteal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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