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The abdominal aorta is the main artery of the abdomen that carries blood from the heart the head, organs, arms and legs. An abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a weakening of the wall of the aorta that causes a widening or “ballooning” of a portion of the artery itself, much like a weak area of an old-fashioned rubber inner tube. If the aorta ruptures due to the AAA, there is a very good chance that the patient will not survive. Early detection and treatment of AAA saves lives.
Ultrasound can determine detect an aneurysm and provide measurements to determine the size and location of the aneurysm. Patients who have an AAA may have the repeat exams to see if the aneurysm is growing over time and how fast it may be growing.
During the exam the technologist will pass the transducer over the abdomen and evaluate the abdominal aorta. Most people who have an aneurysm do not experience symptoms at first. Abdominal aortic aneurysms are often found incidentally on an x-ray or CT scan and followed up with an ultrasound.
What are the common indications for an aorta evaluation?
The indications for an ultrasound of the abdominal aorta include the following signs, symptoms and risk factors:
How long does an aorta exam take and how should a patient prepare for it?
An aorta evaluation exam takes up to 45 minutes to complete. The following information will help patients prepare for the exam.
NAVIX's Physician Preceptorship for Interpretation of Non-Invasive Studies is one of a few select programs available in the United States. All attendees of this program who have sat for the Registered Physician Vascular Interpretation (RPVI) exam have passed -that's a 100% pass rate for our participants!
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