We aimed to explore the feasibility of a nurse-supervised aneurysm screening program to identify any independent risk factors for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) formation in high-risk patients.
We conducted a prospective observational study of 90 male patients in a university- affiliated hospital in southern Ontario. The patients were prospectively evaluated and all underwent abdominal ultrasonography, with the main outcome measure being detection of an AAA.
AAAs were identified in 18 patients (20%) and had a mean diameter of 3.6 (range 2.8-6.0) cm. A separate analysis was performed to identify risk factors for the presence of an aneurysm. The presence of carotid artery disease proved to be the only statistically significant independent predictor of the presence of AAA (odds ratio 2.23, 95% confidence interval 1.76-2.56).
This study confirms the feasibility of a nurse-supervised AAA screening program, and on the basis of these results we recommend ultrasonographic screening for AAA in patients with a history of carotid artery disease.