To study contemporary popliteal artery aneurysm (PA) repair.
Vascunet is a collaboration of population-based registries in 10 countries: eight had data on PA repair (Australia, Finland, Hungary, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland).
From January 2009 until June 2012, 1,471 PA repairs were registered. There were 9.59 operations per million person years, varying from 3.4 in Hungary to 17.6 in Sweden. Median age was 70 years, ranging from 66 years in Switzerland and Iceland to 74 years in Australia and New Zealand; 95.6% were men and 44% were active smokers. Elective surgery dominated, comprising 72% of all cases, but only 26.2% in Hungary and 39.7% in Finland, (p < .0001). The proportion of endovascular PA repair was 22.2%, varying from 34.7% in Australia, to zero in Switzerland, Finland, and Iceland (p < .0001). Endovascular repair was performed in 12.2% of patients with acute thrombosis and 24.1% of elective cases (p < .0001). A vein graft was used in 87.2% of open repairs, a synthetic or composite graft in 12.7%. Follow-up was until discharge or 30 days. Amputation rate was 2.0% overall: 6.5% after acute thrombosis, 1.0% after endovascular, 1.8% after open repair, and 26.3% after hybrid repair (p < .0001). Mortality was 0.7% overall: 0.1% after elective repair, 1.6% after acute thrombosis, and 11.1% after rupture.
Great variability between countries in incidence of operations, indications for surgery, and choice of surgical technique was found, possibly a result of surgical tradition rather than differences in case mix. Comparative studies with longer follow-up data are warranted.