Introduction: Aneurysm rupture is associated with high mortality and morbidity, including both intracranial aneurysms (IA) and abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). Despite potential preemptive treatment in those identified prior to IA or AAA rupture, the evidence for whom to screen remains limited. IA and AAA share both environmental and genetic risk, and prior cost-effectiveness models suggest the potential efficacy of screening in these high-risk individuals. We hypothesized that reciprocal screening in those presenting with IA for AAA would yield positive results.
Methods: The BAAS study sought to establish the co-prevalence of IA and AAA. In this arm of BAAS, we recruited patients presenting with IA and screened them for AAA using abdominal ultrasound (aU/S) at two sites: Mayo Clinic and the University of Virginia (UVA). All participants underwent a detailed interview to collect demographic, radiographic, and clinical data. At UVA, participants also received genetic counseling.
Results: At Mayo Clinic, we enrolled and screened 81 consecutive patients with aSAH (3 patients with known AAA were excluded) with 3 (3.7%) positive aU/S for AAA. At UVA, we recruited 195 consecutive patients presenting with ruptured or unruptured IA and completed screening aU/S in 178 (93%). Only one (0.6%) had an AAA.
Conclusion: The lower positive screening at UVA (0.6%) which enrolled both ruptured and unruptured IA compared to the 3.7% positive results at Mayo suggests that future efforts to identify who with IA might benefit from AAA screening should focus on those with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH).