Objective: To evaluate variants of the popliteal artery (PA) terminal branches with 64-multidetector computed tomographic angiography (64-MD CTA).
Materials and Methods: A total of 495 extremities (251 right, 244 left) of 253 patients undergoing a 64-MD CTA examination were included in the study. Of these, 242 extremities were evaluated bilaterally, whereas 11 were evaluated unilaterally. The terminal branching pattern of the PA was classified according to the classification scheme proposed by Kim; the distance between the medial tibial plateau and the origin of the anterior tibial artery (A) and the length of the tibioperoneal trunk (B) have been measured and recorded.
Results: In 459 cases (92.7%) branching of PA occurred distal to the knee joint (Type I); in 18 cases (2.8%) PA branching was superior to the knee joint (Type II); and hypoplasia of the PA branches was found in 27 cases (5.5%) (Type III). Among these types the most frequent branching patterns were Type IA (87.5%), Type IIIA (3.9%), and Type IB (3.8%). The ranges of A and B mean distances were 47.6 mm and 29.6 mm, respectively
Conclusion: Variations in popliteal artery terminal branching pattern occurred in 7.4% to 17.6% of patients. Pre-surgical detection of these variations with MD CTA may help to reduce the risk of iatrogenic arterial injury by enabling a better surgical treatment plan.
Ankara Training and Research Hospital Radiology Department, Ankara, Turkey, Department of Radiology, Ankara Training and Research Hospital (SB Ankara Eğitim ve Araştırma Hastanesi), Şükriye Mh. Ulucanlar Cd. No:89, 06340 Cebeci/ Ankara, Turkey
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