Diagnosis of Aortic Aneurysms

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Aneurysms are nearly always diagnosed by means of an imaging test, generally a CT scan. The aim is to determine the location of the aneurysm, its diameter and its relationship with respect to certain anatomical structures (typically other important arteries such as renal and digestive arteries and the supra-aortic trunks).

Tests used to diagnose Aortic Aneurysms

The main test used is a CT-angiography, also known as a CT scan with contrast. The technique can provide an accurate measure of the diameter and characteristics of aneurysms in any location. A radiocontrast agent may also be used – a substance that dyes the blood and therefore indicates the location of the blood vessels.

Other tests conducted to diagnose aortic aneurysms include:

Ultrasound on a monitor

Ultrasound. An abdominal ultrasound (with or without contrast agent) for abdominal aortic aneurysms or an echocardiogram (transthoracic or transoesophageal) for thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI machine

PET-CT. Particularly when there is a suspicion of an infectious cause.

Substantiated information by:

Eduardo Quintana Obrador
Xavier Yugueros Castellnou

Published: 10 March 2020
Updated: 10 March 2020

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