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J Ultrasound Med. 1986 Sep;5(9):499-502.

Sonographic examination of the abdominal aorta through the left flank: a prospective study.


Ultrasonographic evaluation of the abdominal aorta is most often done with the patient in the supine position. The right lateral decubitus position, which views the aorta through the left flank has, until now, been considered unsatisfactory for aortic evaluation. One hundred consecutive patients were prospectively examined for visualization of the aorta both through the left flank and the anterior abdomen. Twenty-one patients were then comparatively examined from the right coronal and left coronal approach. These studies showed that the aorta was clearly visualized using the left flank approach in the majority of patients (96 per cent). The combined approach yielded 99 per cent satisfactory visualization, and in a few select cases (13 per cent) the left flank was actually superior. The left flank approach was superior when directly compared with the right flank in 42 per cent of patients and comparable in 48 per cent. The right flank approach was superior in only 10 per cent.

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