© Borgis - Postępy Nauk Medycznych 8/2012, s. 636-643
*Bartosz Pacewski, Włodzimierz Hendiger, Walerian Staszkiewicz, Grzegorz Madycki
Tętniaki tętnic biodrowych – niedoceniany problem angiochirurgii
Iliac artery aneurysms – underestimated problem of vascular surgery
Department of Vascular Surgery and Angiology of the Madical Centre for Postgraduate Education, The Jerzy Popiełuszko Memorial Bielański Hospital
Head of Department: prof. Walerian Staszkiewicz, MD, PhD
Tętniaki tętnic biodrowych (TTB) stanowią niedoceniany problem w angiochirugii. Ich nietypowy obraz kliniczny powoduje że są one wykrywane przypadkowo lub późnym stadium choroby, kiedy osiągną duże rozmiary.Wysoka śmiertelność z powodu pęknięcia nakazuje zastanowić się nad ich problemem. Praca ta przedstawia informacje na temat patofizjologii tętniaków tętnic biodrowych. Pokazuje podział tętniaków pod względem anatomicznym oraz sposoby ich leczenia. Praca przedstawia również podstawową wiedzę z zakresu anatomi naczyń biodrowych. Jest niewiele prac dotyczących tej patologii naczyniowej. Przede wszystkim tętniaki tętnic biodrowych są opisywane w związku z leczeniem tętniaka aorty brzusznej (TAB). Brak jest wypracowanych standardów postępowania z tętniakami popartych licznymi badaniami naukowymi. Praca przestawia również wyniki leczenia pacjentów z tętniakami tętnic biodrowych. Wykazują one znacznie lepsze rezultaty leczenia endowaskularnego w porównaniu z klasycznym leczeniem chirurgicznym w krótkim okresie obserwacji.
Iliac artery aneurysms (IAA) are underestimated problem of vascular surgery. Their atypical medical manifestations cause that iliac aneurysms are dicovered accidentaly or in late stage of disease. High mortality due to rupture demand to consider about this problem. This reviev shows informations of pathophysiology of iliac aneurysms, theirs anatomical classification and treatment strategy. This reviev also shows basic knowledge of anatomy of iliac vessels. There is a few data about this vascular patologhy. Iliac artery aneurysms are described in connection with treatment of abdominal aorta aneurysm (AAA). There is a lack of standards of practise supported by numerous studies.This review also shows results of treatment in patients with iliac artery aneurysms. They show much better results of endovascular treatment compared to classic surgical treatment in short follow-up period.
Within the last decade, publications regarding diseases of the circulatory system devotes much attention to problems related to aneurysms of the aorta, the popliteal arteries and the visceral arteries. Iliac artery aneurysms in isolated form and accompanying the aortic aneurysms are more and more frequently diagnosed. However, literature and studies regarding these problems are rather not extensive comparing to previously listed problems. It is still underestimated problem of modern angiology and vascular surgery.
Classification and epidemiology
The iliac artery aneurysm (IAA) may be classified in 2 groups:
1. Aneurysms related to AAA (occurring in 10-20% of cases).
2. Isolated iliac artery aneurysms. The most frequent location is the common iliac artery, then the internal iliac artery and the most rare, the external iliac artery. In case of the abdominal aneurysms, they constitute (0.9-2%). Internal iliac artery aneurysms constitute (0.03-0.4%).
IAA may occur in form of fusiform aneurysm as well as saccular aneurysm. The aneurysm is defined as widening of the artery lumen by more than 50%. Practical diameter for the iliac artery aneurysm is 18 mm (in case of normal diameter of 8-14 mm). Although some sources provide diameter of the common iliac artery aneurysm exceeding 1.5 cm (1.7 cm in males) and over 0.8 cm for the internal iliac artery aneurysm. (Subcommittee on Reporting Standards for Arterial Aneurysm of The Society for Vascular Surgery).
IAA more frequently occur in male patients (7:1) in 7th and 8th decade of life. 30% of IAA occur bilaterally (2, 8, 10).
Etiology and pathophysiology
Due to low number of publications about problems of the iliac artery aneurysms, there is no studies about their etiology.
Due to etiology, aneurysms may be classified as:
1. degenerative – related to the process of the vessel wall damage. This process is related to the vessel atherosclerosis,
2. inflammatory – with significantly thickened wall combined with the process of retroperitoneal fibrosis and significant perivascular inflammatory reaction,
4. post-traumatic (also iatrogenic),
The base for development of the aneurysm is functional and structural loss of elastin in the arterial wall. Elastin, which is the main structural protein of the arterial wall besides collagen, ensures normal extensibility (elasticity) of the vessel. Elastin is not the protein synthesized by an adult human. Its half-life is about 70 years, which correlates with number of aneurysms in elderly persons.
Enzymes of the group of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are responsible for elastin disintegration. They are produced by the cells of the smooth muscles, endothelium, fibroblasts as well as lymphocytes and macrophages infiltrating the aneurysm wall. The most important is MMP-9, which is released from macrophages nearby the nutrient vessels of the adventitia.
Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) is the inhibitor of metalloproteinase. Fall in the level of its activity may intensify elastolysis. Doxycycline is a non-specific inhibitor of metalloproteinases.
Drugs of NSAID group indirectly acts on MMPs. Indomethacin, by inhibiting release of cytokines (IL-1, IL-6), reduces release of MMPs. On the other hand, maximum doses of the statins inhibit synthesis of MMP-9 in the aneurysms.
Deficiency of alpha 1-antiprotease is also a reason for increasing elastolysis in the vessels of the arteries.
Presence of the paramural clot is a separate problem in development of the aneurysms. This heterogeneous structure creates the barrier in transport of oxygen and nutritional elements to the aneurysm wall, which leads to hypoxia and its further damage. Oxidation disturbances in the clot activate metalloproteinases, which weaken the aneurysm wall.
Chronic injury of the arterial wall related to the wave of the arterial pressure is very important factor in development of the aneurysms. Combination of factors including high pressure, rigidity of the wall related to loss of the elastic fibers and increase in the peripheral resistance is the next reason for development of the aneurysm (2-4).
In order to illustrate the problem of the aneurysm development, we may use the figure 1 on page.
Fig. 1. The diagram of the aneurysm development (according to 5).
Risk factors for the aneurysms and factors reducing the risk are presented in the table 1.
Table 1. Risk factors in the aneurysm development.
|Risk factors for aneurysms|
|Increased risk||Decreased risk|
| Smoking || Diagnostics of the abdominal cavity within 5 years|
| Family history || Deep vein thrombosis|
| Age over 70 years|| Diabetes mellitus|
| Coronary heart disease|| Black race|
| Lipid disturbances|| Female gender|
| COPD|| |
The most certain risk factors for the aneurysms include smoking and family history
Course of the disease and symptoms
Natural course of the disease in patient with the iliac artery aneurysm is its growth. Due to small number of cases, there are no detailed studies regarding size and growth rate of IAA. Growth of IAA depends on the diameter of the aneurysm. The aneurysm measuring below 3 cm in diameter grows by 1.1 mm per year, and the aneurysm measuring 3-5 cm in diameter grows up to 2.6 mm per year.
Such significant increase in growth rate of the diameter is associated with weakening of the wall of the aneurysm. Growth of diameter of IAA seems to be the main factor determining its rupture. Average size of ruptured IAA is 6-6.8 cm in diameter.
Majority of IAA is asymptomatic (65-70%). Symptoms of IAA include peripheral embolism (blue toe syndrome) and rupture. Additional symptoms include complaints related to effect of the mass, which is created by IAA in the pelvis minor. They include the following: the ureter involved in the disease, impaired urine outflow, ureter dilation above the lesion and development of hydronephrosis, the rectum compression and permanent rectal tenesmus, pain radiating to the hip joint, paresthesiae associated with the pelvic nerves compression, deep vein thrombosis, bleeding into the alimentary tract.
Asymptomatic course or no typical symptoms lead to late diagnosis of this vascular pathology. Average size of IAA at the moment of diagnosis is usually 5-6 cm.
The most important evaluation in diagnostics of IAA is ultrasound. It allows diagnosing pathology and performing control check-ups in patients before and after surgical treatment. Majority of ultrasound diagnoses of IAA is accidental, it usually takes place during examination evaluating diseases of the urinary system, especially evaluation of the urinary bladder and the prostate. CT-scan is evaluation, which is necessary for planning a surgical treatment. It is used for precise measurement of IAA in order to select suitable intravascular instruments. Aneurysms measuring 3-3.5 cm should be evaluated every 6 months (2, 8, 12)
The common iliac arteries originate from the aorta creating the subaortic angle, which ranges from 75 degrees in females to 65 degrees in males. This angle is located at the level of the fifth lumbar vertebra. The aortic bifurcation is located at the lower third and a part of the fourth lumbar vertebra. The artery is measuring 11 mm (8-14 mm) in diameter. The right iliac artery may be larger. Its average length is 5 cm. The artery divides into two branches at the level of the inferior edge of the fifth lumbar vertebra.
The external iliac artery constitute the anterolateral branch of the bifurcation. The length is 10-12cm and the diameter is 1 cm. The length is difficult to be measured in elderly people due to its tortuosity. Below the inguinal groove, the external iliac artery transforms into the common femoral artery. The internal iliac artery is the main arterial branch supplying organs of the small pelvis. Only the median sacral artery is an exception, as the final branch of the aorta.
The internal iliac artery is measuring 8-9 mm in diameter and 4-5 cm in length. It divides into 2 trunks.
The following branches originate from the anterior trunk: the obturator artery, the inferior gluteal artery, the umbilical artery, the inferior vesical artery, the artery of the vas deferens (the uterine artery), the middle hemorrhoidal artery, and the internal pudendal artery.
The following branches originate from the posterior trunk: the iliolumbar arteries, the lateral sacral arteries, and the superior gluteal arteries.
Due to numerous branches, the internal iliac artery creates the arterial network. It has great clinical significance due to development of the collateral circulation. There are connections with the vessels of the contralateral side and with branches of the same side.
Connections with neighboring arteries are the most important.
1. Connection with the aorta through the artery of the vas deferens and the testicular artery, the uterine artery and the ovarian artery, the iliolumbar artery and the inferior lumbar arteries as well as the middle and the superior hemorrhoidal arteries.
2. Connection with the external iliac artery through the obturator artery and the inferior epigastric artery as well as the iliolumbar artery and the deep circumflex iliac artery.
3. Connection with the femoral artery through the inferior gluteal artery and the superior perforating artery (from the profunda femoris artery), the inferior gluteal artery and the medial circumflex femoral artery as well as the internal pudendal artery and the external pudendal artery.
Such extensive network of connections provides us with opportunity of unilateral banding of the internal iliac artery without affecting blood supply to the organs.
The external iliac artery, before transforming into the common femoral artery, provides two branches: the deep circumflex iliac artery and the inferior epigastric artery. They create connections with the internal iliac artery, the subclavian artery and the abdominal aorta (1).
Anatomical classification of IAA
Type A – the proximal neck at the common iliac artery is shorter than 1.5 cm and it ends at the internal iliac artery (fig. 2).
Fig. 2. Type A. AA – the abdominal aorta, CIA – the common iliac artery, IIA – the internal iliac artery, EIA – the external iliac artery.
Type B – the proximal neck at the common iliac artery is longer than 1.5 cm, but the distal neck is shorter than 1.5 cm (from the internal iliac artery) (fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Type B. AA – the abdominal aorta, CIA – the common iliac artery, IIA – the internal iliac artery, EIA – the external iliac artery.
Type C – the proximal and the distal neck exceeds 1.5 cm in length (fig. 4).
Fig. 4. Type C. AA – the abdominal aorta, CIA – the common iliac artery, IIA – the internal iliac artery, EIA – the external iliac artery.
Type D – isolated aneurysm of the internal iliac artery, which does not reach the common iliac artery (proximal segment of the internal iliac artery of at least 1 cm) (fig. 5)
Fig. 5. Type D. AA – the abdominal aorta, CIA – the common iliac artery, IIA – the internal iliac artery, EIA – the external iliac artery.
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