Variations of the popliteal artery branching with multidetector ct angiography
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To date the anatomy of the popliteal artery variations using multidetector-row computed tomography angiography (MD CTA) was not assessed. The objective of this study is to establish 3D CT anatomy of the popliteal artery variations. A total of 126 lower limbs that underwent CTA using 64-detector MDCT were retrospectively reviewed. The anatomical variations of the distal popliteal artery branching were assessed. Ninety-seven lower limbs (83.6 %) had the usual branching pattern (type 1 A) with tibialis anterior artery (TA) arising first followed by the tibial-peroneal trunk, which then gives rise to the tibialis posterior artery (TP) and peroneal artery. Variations in popliteal branching pattern were seen in 19 (16.4 %) limbs. The commonest variation was first branch of the TP in 5 (4.4 %) of the limbs (type 1 C) or high origin with anterior course of popliteus muscle of the TA in 5 (4.4 %) limbs (type 2 A II). Many variations exist in the running patterns of the branching pattern of the popliteal artery. Knowledge of the branching pattern of the popliteal artery will be beneficial to radiologist for the evaluation of CT angiograms and interventional vascular procedures, and to vascular surgeons for various surgical approaches. MD CTA provides noninvasive means of assessing distal popliteal artery variations.