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Papers of the Week

2022 Apr 11

Vasc Endovascular Surg

Popliteal Artery Occlusion in a Sole Sciatic Arterial System Requiring Complex Repair.


Bahi M, Osman K, Naik D
Vasc Endovascular Surg. 2022 Apr 11:15385744221084451.
PMID: 35404719.


Persistence of the sciatic artery is a rare phenomenon in vascular surgery. It results from abnormal embryologic development, and where present in the absence of a femoral arterial system, it can have significant clinical implications for patients and can even be limb threatening. We present the case of a 69-year-old man with left-sided, short-distance claudication and rest pain, which caused concern for critical limb ischaemia. Computed tomography angiography revealed a persistent sciatic artery arising from the common iliac artery and resulting in an occluded popliteal artery. The patient underwent a double-bypass procedure to restore the arterial supply to the symptomatic limb. A left iliopopliteal Dacron graft bypass was performed, followed by a left iliopopliteal Dacron to posterior tibial bypass using the patient's great saphenous vein. The left sciatic artery was ligated proximally. This allowed for restoration of arterial supply to the patient's left lower limb, relieving his claudication and rest pain. The key finding was the aneurysmal nature of the sciatic artery, reflecting the likely thromboembolic nature of the distal popliteal disease. Thus, our patient required not only a bypass procedure but also ligation of the native sciatic artery. Timely management is critical due to severity of consequences.