Dissection of the external iliac artery in highly trained athletes

Philip S. Cook, Luke S. Erdoes, Peter M. Selzer, Frank J. Rivera, Julio C. Palmaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


We report a series of four acute external iliac artery dissections occurring in three patients within days of completion of ultraendurance athletic events. Acute dissection of the external iliac artery in highly trained athletes after competition has not been previously documented. A retrospective review of three cases was performed with subsequent follow-up, including imaging and hemodynamic measurements. Dissection was suspected on the basis of duplex imaging results in one case, and arteriography confirmed dissection in all cases. All patients were endurance athletes over the age of 40 years. One patient was found to have bilateral lesions. Treatment in two cases was initiated with percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, one with a successful result and subsequent Palmaz stent placement. In the other case percutaneous transluminal angioplasty was unsuccessful, and operative repair was required with the placement of a graft. The final patient who had bilateral involvement was treated conservatively. At a mean follow-up of 32 months, there have been no complications, and all patients have normal resting hemodynamics. Follow-up duplex imaging shows healing of the dissections in the untreated patient. Histopathologic study in the patient treated with operation disclosed dissection in an otherwise normal arterial wall. Highly trained athletes over the age of 40 are susceptible to external iliac artery dissection, and successful treatment has been achieved by surgical, endovascular, and conservative therapies. (J VASC SURG 1995;22:173-7.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-177
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of vascular surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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