Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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Mayo Clinic doctors trained in blood vessel conditions (vascular specialists), doctors trained in imaging (radiologists) and others diagnose your condition.

Doctors usually find popliteal artery aneurysms during routine physical examinations or identify them on ultrasounds, X-rays or computerized tomography (CT) scans. Popliteal artery aneurysms often occur without symptoms.

Doctors may order several tests to diagnose your condition, including:

  • Ultrasound. An ultrasound uses sound waves to produce detailed images of your blood vessels. Both black and white and colored images can be displayed that can distinguish between the wall of the aneurysm and blood clot that may develop within the sac of the aneurysm.
  • Duplex ultrasound. Duplex ultrasound is a special ultrasound that gives information about blood flow through the aneurysm. Doctors often use ultrasound and duplex ultrasound to diagnose people who have popliteal artery aneurysms, and order other tests if needed.
  • Computerized tomography (CT). A CT scan uses a series of X-rays to create detailed images of the blood vessels in your leg. Sometimes doctors may inject a dye into your blood vessels to show the blood flow (CT angiography).
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). An MRI uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed images of your body's soft tissues. Sometimes doctors may inject a dye into your blood vessels to show the blood flow (magnetic resonance angiography).
Nov. 21, 2012