Spiral CT findings in abdominal aortic aneurysms

Hippokratia 2002, 6(4):198-203

G. Grollios, K . Tsinoglou, G. Anastasiou


Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are a well studied clinical entity, mainly affecting older male adults (over the age of 60). In this article we present our experience of the use of spiral computed tomography (CT) in the detection and perioperative evaluation of abdominal aortic aneurysms. From January 2000 to April 2002, an abdominal spiral CT examination was performed in 112 patients (103 male, 9 female, mean age 64 years old) with suspected AAA. In every case, the examination revealed the presence of an AAA and provided a diversity of vital information regarding the extent and diameter of the aneurysm, its relationship with the renal arteries, the presence of mural thrombus or perianeurysmal fibrosis and potential complications such as rupture; moreover, spiral CT was performed postoperatively in 32 patients, in order to exclude the presence of stent-related complications such as perigraft leaks or renal compromise. Out of 112 patients studied, 108 had aneurysms situated below the origin of the renal arteries; 7 patients presented also aneurysms of the common iliac arteries; 7 patients had inflammatory abdominal aortic aneurysms; 7 patients had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, while imminent rupture of an aneurysm was found in 5 patients. Out of the 32 patients re-evaluated postoperatively, 9 presented peristent leaks, while no one had evidence of renal compromise. In conclusion, we find that spiral computed tomography is an indispensable modality for the evaluation of abdominal aortic aneurysms, as it provides accurate information regarding not only the anatomy of the aneurysm itself but also the potential complications, both preoperatively and postoperatively.