Anatomic variations of popliteal artery that may be a reason for entrapment.Surg Radiol Anat 2009; 31(9):695-700SR
The aim of this study was to demonstrate some anatomic variations of popliteal artery and its surrounding structures that may be important especially for popliteal artery entrapment (PAE) syndrome.
A cadaveric study in 46 lower limbs was performed to improve the understanding of anatomy of the popliteal artery and its relations with surrounding structures.
The popliteal artery was lateral to the popliteal vein in four specimens (8.7%) and deep to popliteal vein in three specimens (6.5%). An aberrant accessory head of gastrocnemius was present in three specimens (6.5%). The popliteal artery and vein were tethered at the adductor magnus hiatus very tightly in one specimen (2.2%). An aberrant medial arterial course around normal medial head of gastrocnemius muscle was seen in one specimen (2.2%).
Various anomalous anatomic relationships between muscle and arteries in the popliteal fossa results in arterial compression. We believe that a review of the anatomic variations of the popliteal artery and its surrounding structures will be beneficial for the surgical approaches in PAE.