An aneurysm occurs when an artery’s wall weakens and causes an abnormally large bulge. This bulge can rupture and cause internal bleeding. Although an aneurysm can occur in any part of your body, they’re most common in the; brain, aorta, legs, spleen.
The aorta, the largest artery in the body, is a blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood away from the heart. It originates just after the aortic valve connected to the left side of the heart and extends through the entire chest and abdomen. The portion of the aorta that lies deep inside the abdomen, right in front of the spine, is called the abdominal aorta. Normal diameter of the aorta is around 2 cm.
Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA or triple A) is an abnormal dilation of the abdominal aorta such that the diameter is greater than 3 cm. The majority of AAAs are the result of atherosclerosis, a chronic degenerative disease of the artery wall, in which fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of arteries and form soft or hard deposits called plaques. An AAA develops slowly over time and has few noticeable symptoms. The larger an aneurysm grows, the more likely it will burst or rupture, causing Intense and persistent abdominal or back pain that may radiate to the buttocks and legs, sweating and clamminess,dizziness,nausea and vomiting, rapid heart rate, shortness of breath, low blood pressure and death can occur within a number of minutes. . In the United States, 15,000 deaths per year are attributed to abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs). Keisler B, Carter C. Abdominal aortic aneurysm. Am Fam Physician. 2015 Apr 15. 91 (8):538-43. Medline
Major risk factors for an AAA include family history, smoking and longstanding high blood pressure.
To confirm the presence of an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a physician may order imaging tests including ultrasound, abdominal and pelvic computed tomography, MRI, angiography. Ultrasound is a highly accurate, non-invasive and painless test that uses high-frequency sound waves to measure the size of an aneurysm. A physician may also use a special technique called Doppler ultrasound to examine blood flow through the aorta.
Major risk factors for an AAA include being male, older age family history, smoking, obesity, longstanding high blood pressure and a history of atherosclerosis.
The prevalence of AAAs increases with age. Males are much more commonly affected than females, with a ratio of 4:1. They are the tenth most common cause of death in the Western world. Approximately 10% of individuals older than 65 have an AAA.
There is an increase chances of abdominal aortic dilation during older age.
. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, AAAs are the cause of over 12,000 deaths annually and ranks as the 15th leading cause of death among all individuals aged 55–85.2
In 1988, the prevalence of AAAs was found six times lower in women then man of age between Prevalence and risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysms in older adults with and without isolated systolic hypertension. . 1999
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The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm in male and females at any age group.
Material and methods:
Study area and sample size:
Traditional ultrasound: High frequency probe is used for the evaluation of AAAs.
Doppler ultrasound: duplex ultrasound helps to distinguish several important characteristics of the blood vessels, including speed and direction of blood flow and diameter of the vessels themselves. Duplex ultrasound can also detect the presence and extent of any obstruction in the blood vessels, such as cholesterol deposits or blood clots. The duplex ultrasound is a diagnostic test administered to assess blood circulation
A patient is asked to fast 8 to 12 hours prior to an abdominal ultrasound because getting clear images of the abdominal aorta may not be possible when there are food/liquids in the stomach, and urine in the bladder. You may take your usual medications on the day of the test, unless your doctor instructs you otherwise. No gum chewing or smoking for eight to 12 hours prior to the test as well.
The ultrasound procedure begins with the patient’s lying supine position on an examination table. A water-based gel is applied to the abdomen. The gel allows consistent contact between the body and the transducer by eliminating any air pockets that could get in the way. The transducer is held firmly against the skin, and slowly moved back and forth across the abdomen; the images then appear on the computer screen. An abdominal ultrasound usually takes 20 minutes.