Which supplemental studies may be useful in the workup of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA)?

Updated: Jan 08, 2019
  • Author: Saum A Rahimi, MD, FACS; Chief Editor: Vincent Lopez Rowe, MD  more...
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Answer

Assessment of pulmonary function is of paramount importance in AAA patients. Because surgical intervention requires an abdominal incision, preoperative assessment of the patient’s pulmonary status allows postoperative care to be appropriately tailored to the patient’s condition.

Assessment of cardiac status is mandatory in all patients with vascular disease. If one vascular bed is involved with an atherosclerotic process, others may be involved as well. Electrocardiographic findings provide a baseline assessment of cardiac rhythm and old disease processes. A stress test can be performed to uncover unsuspected cardiac ischemia. Significant coronary disease may have to be addressed before the AAA can be repaired.

On histologic examination, AAAs contain a chronic inflammatory infiltrate and neovascularity of varying degrees. Inflammatory AAAs may contain germinal centers.


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