Factors predicting the diameter of the popliteal artery in healthy humans

Thomas Sandgren, Björn Sonesson, Åsa Rydén Ahlgren, Toste Länne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To determine the relevance of popliteal dilatations, knowledge of the normal popliteal artery diameter is essential. This study investigates the diameter of the popliteal artery in healthy males and females. METHODS: We measured the diameter of the popliteal artery in 121 healthy volunteers (59 males and 62 females), ages 8 to 81, with echo-tracking B-mode ultrasonography. We analyzed the influence of age, sex, height, weight, body surface area (BSA) and systolic blood pressure with a multiple regression model. RESULTS: The popliteal artery increased steadily in diameter throughout life. From 25 years on, the diameter was larger in males than in females. If corrected for BSA, this difference decreased from 17% to 7%. This study found a correlation between popliteal artery diameter and BSA (r=0.47 and r=0.61, respectively, p < 0.0001). Age, followed by BSA, was the most influencing factor on popliteal diameter in both males and females (r=0.62 and r=0.66, respectively, p < 0.0001). We used age and BSA in creating a model for prediction of popliteal artery diameter. CONCLUSIONS: The diameter of the popliteal artery increases with age, initially during growth, but also in adults. This is related to age, body size and sex, with males having larger arteries than females. It is now possible to predict the normal popliteal arterial diameter, and nomograms are presented for use in the study of aneurysmal arterial disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-289
JournalJournal of Vascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200), Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine Unit (013242320)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


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