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Theses, Masters

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This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

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Successfully submitted for the award of MPhil Clinical Measurement Science

Abstract

Introduction: The effectiveness of screening for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) has been debated for many years. An AAA is defined as a focal dilation of the abdominal aortic artery exceeding 1.5 times its normal size (Kent, 2014). Risk factors associated with AAA are similar to those of peripheral vascular disease, thus the population attending a vascular laboratory are ideal candidates for AAA screening. AAAs are more common in males, in smokers, with increasing age, and more likely with a family history of AAA (Chaikof et al, 2009). Currently the UK National Screening Committee recommend one time AAA screening by ultrasound for all men 65 years of age (Davis et al, 2013). Ultrasound has a diagnostic sensitivity and specificity close to 100% and is a cheap, non-invasive means of identifying AAAs (Chun et al, 2013). The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of AAA in patients in a high-risk population attending an Irish vascular laboratory; and to determine if the current AAA screening criteria needs modification. Method: This is a retrospective audit of the AAA screening program performed on patients ≥60 years who attended the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital (MMUH) vascular laboratory between 1st January 2010 and 31st December 2016. A list of all abdominal aorta duplex studies carried out in this timeframe was obtained. All patients with known AAA, previous AAA surgery or patients referred for AAA screening were excluded. All remaining studies were performed for the purpose of AAA screening. Each report was reviewed and the presence or absence of AAA was documented. All necessary data was compiled in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and analysed.


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