Determining Patient Risk Factors Associated with Accelerated Growth of Popliteal Artery Aneurysms
Ryan Cousins, David Dexter, Sadaf Ahanchi, Gordon Stokes, Sarah Ongstad, Brandon Cain, Obie Powell, Niraj Parikh, Jean Panneton
Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA
Background: Popliteal artery aneurysms (PAAs) are the most commonly occurring true aneurysm within the peripheral extremities. The vascular complications that can occur to the lower limbs due to PAAs are generally well described. The natural history of aneurysm growth and timing for intervention, however, are not completely understood. The purpose of this study is to determine the natural progression of popliteal aneurysms and clinical variables that are associated with accelerated growth.
Methods: We identified all patients with a lower extremity aneurysm (N=950) from 2009-2016. Of these, 224 patients had at least one PAA. From this group, 65 asymptomatic patients were found to have unilateral (N=43) or bilateral (N=22) PAAs that were followed for at least one year of medical management prior to intervention. We divided these patients into two groups based upon whether their overall growth rate was above 1.22mm/yr or below 1.22mm/yr. Aneurysm diameter was taken from duplex ultrasound and CT imaging. Statistical analyses were performed using Pearson’s Chi-Square, ANOVA, Kaplan-Meyer, and Multivariate Regression.
Results: 87 aneurysms were evaluated among 65 patients. Mean age at the time of diagnosis was 70.9 [68.89, 72.89]. 64 were male (98%). 50 (77%) were Caucasian and 7 (11%) were African American. The average BMI was 27.69 [26.64, 28.73]. 61 (94%) of these patients had a concomitant aneurysm at or prior to the time of diagnosis. 51 (78%) of these patients were current or former smokers. 16 (25%) had atrial fibrillation. The average growth rate of PAAs was 1.22 mm/yr [0.8.10, 1.63]. The mean surveillance follow-up time from initial diagnosis to last follow up or to intervention was 3.12 years [2.77, 3.48]. Of 87 aneurysms, 24 (28%) went on to repair. Of these patients, 21 (88%) had repair due to size criteria and 15 (63%) had an aneurysm related complication that warranted surgery. 63 aneurysms (72%) did not require an intervention during our study window. The mean initial diameter at diagnosis was 16.9mm [15.8, 18.1]. 48 (55%) aneurysms developed thrombus within the PAA. The mean ABI of the evaluated extremity at diagnosis was 1.0 [0.941, 1.053]. Univariate analysis identified initial diameter (14.7mm vs. 19.2mm, p=0.02), atrial fibrillation (16.0% vs. 53.8%, p=0.042), and the presence of thrombus (33.3% vs. 66.7%, p=<0.001) as predictors of diameter expansion greater than the mean. Utilizing multivariate analysis of the univariate factors determined that only initial diameter (p=0.007, OR: 5.53) and the presence or development of thrombus (p=0.08, OR: 4.00) maintained significance.
Conclusions: While the majority of patient comorbidities and risk-factors provided no predictive value concerning the expansion rate of PAAs, several identified a significant difference. Patients presenting with an aneurysm at or greater than 20mm, significant thrombus, or atrial fibrillation may need to be observed using more frequent scanning intervals than those without these risk factors. Further studies are required to validate these predictive PAA growth factors.
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