Screening for Aortic Aneurysms

Given the high risk of death following the rupture of an aortic aneurysm, most developed countries now offer a screening programme to detect these early. This is usually done by performing an ultrasound scan of the abdomen in those more likely to have one. These are male patients who are 65 years or older and those who are at least 50 years old with a first degree male relative (father or brother) who has had an aortic aneurysm diagnosed. This allows detection of aneurysms in the aorta in the abdomen at a smaller size when the risk of rupture is much lower and for them to be followed up carefully and treated if necessary before a rupture occurs.

An Ultrasound scan of the abdominal aorta is a non-invasive test that does not involve exposure to any radiation and can be performed in 20-30 minutes as a walk in procedure in our vascular diagnostic laboratory at Gleneagles Hospital.