The role of diameter versus volume as the best prognostic measurement of abdominal aortic aneurysms

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Accurate measurement of abdominal aortic aneurysms is necessary to predict rupture risk and, more recently, to follow aneurysm sac behavior following endovascular repair. Up until this point, aneurysm diameter has been the most common measurement utilized for these purposes. Although aneurysm diameter is predictive of rupture, accurate measurement is hindered by such factors as aortic tortuosity and interobserver variability, and it does not account for variations in morphology such as saccular aneurysms. Additionally, decreases in aneurysm diameter do not completely describe the somewhat complex remodeling seen following endovascular repair of aortic aneurysms.

Measurement of aneurysm volume has the advantage of describing aneurysm morphology in a multidimensional fashion, but it has not been readily available or easily measured until recently. This has changed with the introduction of commercially available software tools that permit quicker and easier to perform volume measurements. Whether it is time for volume to replace, or compliment, diameter is the subject of the current debate.

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