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Femoral artery aneurysm

Authors
Raul J Guzman, MD
Ruby Lo, MD
Section Editors
John F Eidt, MD
Joseph L Mills, Sr, MD
Deputy Editor
Kathryn A Collins, MD, PhD, FACS

INTRODUCTION

Although they are the second most common type of true peripheral aneurysm after those involving the popliteal artery, femoral artery aneurysms (FAAs) are extremely rare, and their natural history is not well characterized.

Most FAAs are asymptomatic at presentation, but patients can develop local pain or claudication. FAAs can also present with limb-threatening complications due to thrombosis, distal embolization, or rupture, although the incidence of acute limb ischemia is lower for femoral compared with popliteal artery aneurysms. The decision to repair an FAA primarily depends on the clinical presentation, the aneurysm diameter, and how fit the patient is for open surgery, which is the predominant method of repair.

The clinical features, diagnosis, and management of true FAAs will be reviewed. Other peripheral artery aneurysms that may be associated with FAAs are reviewed separately. (See "Popliteal artery aneurysm" and "Iliac artery aneurysm" and "Overview of abdominal aortic aneurysm".)

ANATOMIC ISSUES

Femoral anatomy — The common femoral artery is the continuation of the external iliac artery, the name changing as it crosses the inguinal ligament (figure 1 and figure 2). Approximately 2 to 6 cm below the inguinal ligament, the femoral artery bifurcates into the superficial and deep femoral (ie, profunda femoris) arteries.

Because of their less superficial location, aneurysms involving the deep femoral and mid- to distal superficial femoral arteries are less likely be detected until they are relatively large. (See 'Clinical presentation' below.)

                 
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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 09, 2017.
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