Callum et al measured arteries supplying the pelvis and lower extremities as seen on arteriography in Caucasian males over 50 years of age. These measurements can help identify patients with arteriomegaly. The authors are from St. Thomas' Hospital in London.


Arterial Diameters in millimeters (from Radiographic Images)

Arterial Segment

Dilated if greater than

aorta 2 cm above renal arteries

29 mm


27 mm

aorta below renal arteries, widest point

31 mm

common iliac artery

16 mm

common iliac artery, widest point

17 mm

internal iliac artery

9 mm

external iliac artery

11 mm

common femoral artery

13 mm

external iliac artery, widest point

13 mm

profundus femoris artery

8 mm

superficial femoral artery, upper

10 mm

superficial femoral artery, lower

10 mm

superficial femoral artery, widest

10 mm

popliteal artery

10 mm

popliteal artery, widest

10 mm

posterior tibial artery, upper

7 mm

posterior tibial artery, lower

5 mm

from Table III, page 527



• The diameters in Table III appear to be the values measured from radiographs, which are magnified relative to actual physiologic measurements.


Arterial Length


The length of the arterial segment is compared to a standard distance of the bony skeleton.


Arterial Segment

Elongated if greater than

aorta from L1 to L4

103% bony length

common iliac artery from L4 to ischial tuberosity

108% bony length

iliac and femoral artery from L4 to intercondylar femoral notch

103% bony length

popliteal artery

105% bony length

from Table IV, page 528



• The points for taking the bone measurements are discussed on page 525.

• The femoral artery was compared to the distance between the tip of the ischial tuberosity to the intercondylar notch of the femur.

• The popliteal artery length is compared to the distance from the point where the femoral artery crosses the femur to the top of the visible gap between the tibia and fibula at the knee.



• Sufficient data was available for men only, so data from women were not included. IN general arteries from women had smaller diameters.

• Measurements for arterial diameters need to be taken accurately, based on perpendiculars to vessel wall.

• Magnification is discussed on page 525. All radiographs should be taken in a standard manner (film 100 cm below tube, table 8 cm above film, aorta 7-12 cm above table). The setup used by the authors magnified the aorta and common iliac arteries by 15-20% and thigh arteries by 9-12%.

• The subjects ranged from 5 to 6 feet tall. The data probably applies to men greater than 6 feet tall, although normal arterial diameters may be greater.

• Abnormal elongation of a bone might affect the interpretation of arterial length.


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