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Smaller Aortic Aneurysms May Require Less Frequent Monitoring
Date:2/26/2013

nario, "the risk of rupture would be maintained at less than 1 percent."

This means for a patient with an abdominal aortic aneurysm of just over 1 inch in diameter, "this would reduce the average number of surveillance scans from approximately 15 to seven," the British team said.

They said more research is needed to assess the frequency of monitoring for women with slightly larger aneurysms (just under 2 inches in diameter).

The study "clearly identifies that small aneurysms grow slower than larger aneurysms," Adelman said. "Therefore, the interval between scans should be longer in patients with smaller aneurysms."

"The standard of care in the United States is to image small aneurysms infrequently -- approximately every other year," he said. "Once the aneurysm grows to approximately [1.7 inches], annual ultrasound imaging is typically performed."

Therefore, "the findings in this study confirm the typical practice patterns in the United States, and incur costs of about $200 per year in patients with moderate- to large-sized aneurysms -- a cost effective strategy," Adelman said.

The study appears in the Feb. 27 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More information

The Society of Interventional Radiology has more about abdominal aortic aneurysm.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Mark Adelman, M.D., vascular surgeon, NYU Langone Medical Center, and associate professor, NYU School of Medicine, New York City; Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, Feb. 26, 2013


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