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Eur J Vasc Endovasc Surg. 2000 Oct;20(4):369-73.

Optimal interval screening and surveillance of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

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Department of Vascular Surgery, Viborg Hospital, Denmark.



to determine safe and optimal intervals of rescreening and surveillance for AAA.


hospital-based mass screening of 6339 65-73-year-old men from 1994-98. 76.4% attended. One hundred and ninety-one (4%) had AAA53 cm. Twenty-four (0.5%) were initially >5 cm and referred for surgery, while the rest were offered annual control scans to check for expansion. Later, all 348 (7.5%) men who 3 to 5 years ago had an ectatic aorta (infrarenal aortic diameter of 25-29 mm or distal/renal aortic diameter ratio >1.2) were offered rescreening. Of these, 62 (18%) died before rescanning, while 248 of the survivors attended rescreening (87%). Furthermore, a random sample of 380 of those with non-ectatic aortas were offered rescreening. Of these, 49 (13%) died before rescreening (p=0.06), while 275 (83%) of the survivors attended re-screening.


none of the controls had developed AAA. Of those who initially had an 25-29 mm aorta, 29% had developed AAA (size range 30-48 mm) with expansion rates varying from 1.0 to 4.7 mm/year. Only 3.5% with a ratio >1.2 developed AAA (size range: 30-34 mm) with expansion rates from 1.3 to 2.4 mm/year. During the fourth year of surveillance some AAA initially sized below 3.5 cm expanded to above 5 cm, while some sized 3.5-3.9 cm did so during the second year, >4 cm did so during the first year of surveillance.


rescreening for AAA can be restricted to initially ectatic aortas sized 25-29 mm at 5-year intervals. Surveillance of small AAA can be restricted to 1-4 year intervals.

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