Popliteal pseudoaneurysm and arteriovenous fistula after acupuncture

K Soumer, S Benomrane, B Derbel, J Laribi, M Benmrad, N Elleuch, T Kalfat, A Khayati
Journal des Maladies Vasculaires 2015, 40 (1): 58-62
Most popliteal arteriovenous fistula and pseudoaneurysm formation are related to trauma. Few cases have previously been reported after acupuncture therapy. Such events are typically observed when the procedure is performed by non-medical acupuncturist. They may present with acute ischemia, recent claudication, distal emboli, or less commonly rupture. Duplex ultrasound should be considered as the 1st method of investigation. Computed tomography scanning is particularly accurate in making the diagnosis. Treatment strategies consist of surgery or endovascular management. The most commonly performed surgical technique for popliteal pseudoaneurysm repair is resection with bypass grafting, whereas popliteal arteriovenous fistula are usually treated surgically with ligation and primary repair. Endovascular procedure using a stent-graft is thought to be a reasonable option for treating popliteal false aneurysm or even arteriovenous fistula. We will describe two cases of an arteriovenous fistula and pseudoaneurysm of the popliteal artery that developed after acupuncture needling in the region of the popliteal artery.

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