Aortic aneurysms are a common incidental finding in elderly patients and are often asymptomatic. Common risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) include older age, male gender, smoking and hypertension. There is a strong familial prevalence of AAA and screening should be considered in patients with a familial history of AAA from 50 years of age. Ultrasound is a useful non-invasive investigation for initial diagnosis and surveillance of AAA. Once an AAA reaches 5.5cm in men or 5.0cm in women, the risk of rupture is generally greater than the risk of operative morbidity and mortality.
Modern Medicine – May/June 2018