Better aneurysm detection studied.
UNITED KINGDOM -- Over the past 20 years, the number of intact aortic aneurysms that have been diagnosed in the U.S. has tripled to approximately 200,000 a year. The increased incidence of aneurysm aneurysm (ăn`yrĭzəm), localized dilatation of a blood vessel, particularly an artery, or the heart. detection is attributed to the greater use of computed tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), noninvasive diagnostic technique that uses nuclear magnetic resonance to produce cross-sectional images of organs and other internal body structures. (MRI 1. (application) MRI - Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
2. MRI - Measurement Requirements and Interface. ) examinations, and other methods that search for tumors or related conditions.
With the rapidly increasing number of diagnoses in this country, the question of whether patients should be scanned specifically to search out aneurysms has been put to insurers. Some companies say that screening would not be effective and would lead to additional costs for symptom-free patients.
A study published in the Lancet (November 17, 2002) tracked 61,000 men between the ages of 65 and 74 for an average of four years. A 42 percent drop in risk of death from abdominal aortic aneurysms was found in those who had been screened.
The authors suggested that screening might "significantly reduce mortality rates associated with abdominal aortic aneurysms."