Background: An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is potentially fatal when ruptured. Whereas the transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) protocol does not routinely include examination of the infrarenal abdominal aorta, the protocol is performed quickly and easily for AAA screening. Aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical utility of the protocol for AAA screening during TTE in a Korean population referred for clinical TTE. Methods: All of the patients who were scheduled for TTE were enrolled in the study. At the end of TTE protocol, the abdominal aorta was evaluated at the level below the renal artery origin. Results: A total of 6,267 patients were screened, and the abdominal aortas were visualized in 79% (4,939 patients) of patients screened. AAA was diagnosed in 27 patients, 23 of whom were male. The mean age of AAA patients was 66.5 years old, and 81% of AAA patients were over 60 years old. The presence of AAA was associated with male gender and older age, as well as with hypertension and smoking. Of the 27 patients, 11 patients (0.2% of the study population) did not have a history of AAA screening and were newly diagnosed by TTE. Conclusions: Screening of AAA during TTE is easy and feasible. Even though the prevalence of AAA in patients is very low, detection of asymptomatic AAA may save lives. Therefore, opportunistic examination of the abdominal aorta during routine TTE, which involves little time and cost, would appear to be effective, at least in patients over 60 years of age, especially in men.
- abdominal aortic aneurysm
- transthoracic echocardiography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine