Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Ultrasound

Overview

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm UltrasoundThe abdominal aortic ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of the abdominal aorta.

This test reveals the size of the aorta and allows visualization of an aneurysm. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are dangerous because they weaken the aortic wall and may rupture, causing life threatening bleeding into the abdomen. There are 15,000 deaths yearly in the U.S. A ruptured aorta can cause death in four minutes. Mortality rate in hospitals for a ruptured aortic aneurysm is 60-90%.

The test can locate an aneurysm and assess its severity. Also visible in the exam is any development of atherosclerosis which may cause aortic stenosis. Significant stenosis may slow the flow of blood to extremities such as the legs.

Common indicators for abdominal aorta ultrasounds are:

  • Testing for aneurysms in high risk patients with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
  • Evaluate for an aneurysm if a pulsatile mass is discovered during a physical exam.
  • Re-examine a previously diagnosed patient who has an aortic aneurysm to determine any change in size.
  • Check the aorta due to hearing a bruit (rushing, whistling noise) discovered in a physical exam.
  • Men over the age of 55, especially if they smoked or if they have a first degree relative who has had an aneurysm.

The Procedure

  • With the patient in a recumbent position, the technician glides the ultrasound probe over the abdomen and records the images.
  • The test is a quick, simple, noninvasive, painless and highly accurate ultrasound image of the carotid artery. The Level 1 Diagnostics Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Ultrasound is captured using a portable ultrasound unit that interfaces with a computer using DIVO technology, which is FDA approved and HIPAA compliant in transferring data to an analysis specialist and to a cardiologist or radiologist for evaluation.