Abdominal aortic aneurysms in patients with ischemic heart disease. A study of prevalence by means of physical examination and ultrasonography

G. Torzilli, V. Caizzi, A. Zucchi, M. Orlandi, N. Olivari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. The identification of at risk groups to be screened for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) seems justified to reduce the rate of dramatic presentations with rupture. By means of physical examination (PhE) and ultrasonography (US) we studied a group of patients with proven ischemic heart disease (IHD) to estimate AAA prevalence in this selected population. Materials and methods. From June 1993 to January 1994 we studied 100 consecutive patient. Mean age was 63.9 years (median: 65 years - range: 60-86 years). Sex ratio was 2.5:1 with 71 males and 29 females. At PhE the physician searched for an expansive abdominal pulsatility. An aortic dilatation (AD) at US was conventionally defined as AAA if both AP and T ratios between the major diameters of the AD and the diameters of the aorta just above the AD proved to be greater than 1. Twelve patients out of 100 proved to be carriers of AD at US examination, 5 at PhE. Results. It was confirmed that US was the more accurate diagnostic method for the screening of AAA. Due to the lack of standardized criteria in the diagnosis of AAA the studies of prevalence are not homogeneously evaluable. On the basis of the US-criterion of definition of an AAA that we considered we observed a prevalence rate of AAA among IHD patients of 12%. It is a high rate as an absolute value but if we had considered the different criteria reported in the literature we would have found a prevalence that ranges from 1 to 10% which corresponds to the prevalence in the general population. Conclusions. In conclusion, our suggestions are that IHD patients do not seem to be a group at higher risk for AAA but nevertheless a better knowledge about the natural history of AAA and a standard criterion of definition of AAA are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-407
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • Aortic aneurysms, abdominal diagnosis
  • Aortic aneurysms, abdominal epidemiology
  • Aortic aneurysms, abdominal therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


Dive into the research topics of 'Abdominal aortic aneurysms in patients with ischemic heart disease. A study of prevalence by means of physical examination and ultrasonography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this