Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms using a dedicated portable ultrasound system: early results

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AimsAbdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are often diagnosed at time of (impending) rupture leading to a dramatic increase of morbidity and mortality. A simple screening device might be the key solution for widespread AAA screening. This study evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of a new portable ultrasound scanner (Aortascan BVI 9600) developed for automatic AAA detection.Methods and resultsA total of 150 patients with presumed aneurysmatic peripheral atherosclerotic disease were included in the study. Patients were first scanned with conventional ultrasound (US), serving as reference technique. An infra-renal abdominal aorta diameter of ≥30 mm was defined as an AAA. Hereafter, the aorta was scanned using the Aortascan BVI 9600. Statistical analyses were performed using SPSS version 15.0 statistical software. Abdominal aortic aneurysms were detected with conventional US in 78 (52%) patients, compared with 74 (49%) AAA's detected with Aortascan BVI 9600. The Aortascan BVI 9600 demonstrated a sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value of 90, 94, 95, and 89%, respectively, in the detection of AAA's.ConclusionThe Aortascan BVI 9600 automatically detects the aortic diameter with a 90% sensitivity without the need for a trained operator. Because of these unique capabilities, it can be used for AAA screening outside the hospital.

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