Incidence, diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of true superficial artery aneurysms.

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True superficial femoral artery aneurysms (SFAAs) do not occur frequently but carry a high risk of limb loss when they are complicated with thrombosis, distal embolization or rupture. Large aneurysms can also exert a mass effect, compressing adjacent veins and nerves. We performed an updated review of the literature with regard to their incidence, diagnosis, treatment, and outcomes over the years.A MEDLINE, Excerpta Medica Database (EMBASE) search of papers reporting SFAAs was conducted. Studies reported in the literature were considered for the review regardless of their nature and the number of participants. The available data regarding patient demographics, method of diagnosis, size, location, clinical presentation, therapy, and outcomes were examined.Searching from 1967 to the present, we identified 59 papers reporting true SFAAs. Forty-one papers were case reports with 1 case each, 9 papers with 2 cases each and 9 papers reporting case series with more than 3 cases. There was one study reporting data on the management of asymptomatic SFAAs. We identified 164 SFA aneurysms, and 84.4% were symptomatic. The mean age of patients at the presentation was 70.2 years (range, 27-96) and 89.4% were men. SFAAs were diagnosed earlier in patients with connective tissue disorders, with a mean age of 35 years (range, 29-43). In 60.2 % of cases are present symptoms related to mass compression, 26,8% with rupture and 27,3% of cases with ischaemic symptoms. Endovascular approach was chosen in 52.6% of SFAAs reported in the last 5 years.The data in the available literature are poor regarding the management of asymptomatic aneurysms, and the conclusions are based mainly on the symptomatic aneurysms reported. Most SFAAs present mainly with symptoms due to mass compression and rupture rather than ischaemic symptoms. The endovascular approach is becoming more popular and could become the preferred choice.

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Authors: Luca Traina, Gladiol Zenunaj, Francesca Bisogno, Sabrina Scian, Pierfilippo Acciarri, Chiara Medini, Giulio Abatangelo, Vincenzo Gasbarro