PURPOSE: The popliteal artery is the site of uncommon conditions such as popliteal artery entrapment syndrome (PAES), adventitial cystic disease (ACD) and aneurysmal disease. Because of their rarity, these nonatheromatous conditions are often not diagnosed until they reach an advanced stage. We conducted this retrospective study to analyse the clinical characteristics of popliteal arterial disease and to establish a proper diagnostic and therapeutic strategy. METHODS: Among the 31 patients who underwent an operation for popliteal arterial disease between Jan. 1986 and Dec. 1998 in SNUH, 14 patients with isolated popliteal arterial disease were included in this study, excluding 17 patients with combining significant arterial disease in other area. The symptoms, risk factors for vascular disease, laboratory findings, radiologic findings and the patency rate after operation were analyzed. RESULTS: The mean age of the patients were 38 years (12~64) and male-to-female ratio was 13:1. There were 6 cases of PAES, 2 cases of popliteal aneurysms, ACD and thromboangiitis obliterans respectively, and 1 case of atherosclerosis obliterans and embolism each. Arteriography was performed in all cases and duplex sonogram (5 cases), CT (2), CT angiography (3), and MR angiography (2) was performed additionally. For treatment of the arterial occlusion, bypass or interposition graft was done in all cases. Along with the arterial reconstruction, division of medial head of gastrocnemius muscle was done in 4 cases of PAES, excision in 1 case of ACD, and aneurysmectomy in 1 case of popliteal aneurysm. Patency rates of the graft after 1 and 3 years were 92% and 80.9% respectively. There was no limb or patient loss. CONCLUSION: Isolated occlusive disease of popliteal artery is mostly nonatheromatous condition such as PAES or ACD. Therefore those diseases should be suspected in young patient with leg ischemia without other risk factor for systemic vascular disease. Duplex ultrasound and CTA or MRA are accurate diagnostic tools to differentiate the lesions and make the proper therapeutic plan.