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Vol 18, No 4 (2012)
Research paper
Published online: 2013-01-01

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Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm in male population

Marcin Gabriel, Katarzyna Pawlaczyk, Grzegorz Oszkinis, Zbigniew Krasiński, Jarosław Figiel, Aleksandra Korcz
Acta Angiologica 2012;18(4):157-168.


Mortality due to ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm remains high, despite constant progress in the fields
of diagnostics and treatment. According to published data, screening in selected patient populations proved
effective in decreasing these adverse outcomes.
The aim of the study was to determine prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysms in male subjects over 50
years of age, inhabiting the region of Wielkopolska and bearing risk factors of atherosclerosis.
The studied population included 305 men aged 52–89 years, who were examined between March 2009
and January 2010 and fulfilled at least one of the two criteria (age over 65 years and at least one risk factor
for vascular complications and/or age over 50 years and family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm in immediate
kin). Patient evaluation included taking medical history, measurement of the ankle-brachial index,
duplex investigation of aorta and iliac arteries as well as measurement of glycaemia and lipid parameters.
Aortic aneurysms of 32–93 mm in diameter were discovered in 14 patients (4.6%). In 12 subjects, only
distal part of aorta was dilated, whereas in two patients the lesion encompassed both aorta and common
iliac arteries. Effacement of posterior wall of aneurysm and dissection of paramural thrombi was noted in two
patients who had largest aneurysms. In both these cases, angio-CT of abdomen was performed, and patients
were qualified for urgent surgical intervention.
Groups of healthy subjects and patients with aneurysm did not differ significantly as to age, BMI value or
lipid parameters. Glycaemia in patients with aneurysms was, however, significantly higher as compared to
healthy subjects. Analysis of comorbidities and cardiovascular risk factors revealed that patients with aortic
aneurysms were significantly more often active smokers, had history of cerebral stroke, and were diagnosed
with chronic obturative pulmonary disease or rheumatic disorders. Analysis concerning other parameters
showed no significant differences between the two groups.
The observed prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm and risk factors for its development in male inhabitants
of the Wielkopolska region were similar to figures previously reported in literature. Screening performed in this study allowed detecting 14 abdominal aortic aneurysms, of which two required urgent surgical intervention.
These results support therefore necessity of such screening programmes.

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