Background- Abdominal aortic aneurysm is a localized dilatation of the sub diaphragmatic aorta. Rupture of the abdominal aortic aneurysm is the most frequent and often fatal complication. Ruptures frequently appear in patients that are asymptomatic. We are now considering screening the population at risk by means of abdominal ultrasound. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of aortic aneurysm in patients undergoing selective coronary angiography. We wanted to evaluate the cost effectiveness of performing screening abdominal ultrasonography in patients with coronary heart disease.
Methods- In this cross-sectional study from 241 men above 54 years old, patients underwent coronary angiography due to cardiac indications and then abdominal ultrasonography was performed to detect abdominal aortic aneurysm.
Results- Of all the evaluated patients, only two patients were afflicted by abdominal aortic aneurysm. Both of these patients were older than 60 years old, diabetic and had three-vessel disease.
Conclusion- The prevalence of abdominal aortic aneurysm in coronary artery disease in comparison with mentioned statistics is lower than expected. It is unlikely that abdominal ultrasound would be cost effective as a screening method for every patient with coronary artery disease, and sonographic evaluation must be limited to patients at higher risk or those who are suspected of having abdominal aortic aneurysm by clinical examination (Iranian Heart Journal 2003; 4 (2,3): 6-8).