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Screening for aortic aneurysm. (Clinical Capsules).

Using ultrasound to screen all men over age 65 for abdominal aortic aneurysm is feasible, reducing the mortality from ruptured aneurysms in this patient group by 42%, reported R.A.P. Scott of St. Richard's Hospital, Chichester, England, and associates in the Multicentre Aneurysm Screening Study group.

The MASS trial involved a population-based sample of 67,800 men aged 65-74 years. Of the nearly 34,000 who were invited to a free ultrasound screening, 1,333 were found to have abdominal aortic aneurysms. Most of these (944) were small and were rescanned at yearly intervals; the 223 medium-sized lesions were rescanned at 3-month intervals. Patients with large aneurysms (166) were referred for surgical repair (Lancer 360[9345]:1531-39, 2002).

Over 4 years of follow-up, 65 of the men who had been offered screening died of causes related to aneurysm, compared with 113 of the men who were not offered screening. They estimated that screening cut the risk of dying from abdominal aortic aneurysm from 3.3 per 1,000 to 1.9 per 1,000 men, and that 1 such death would be prevented for every 710 men screened.
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Author:Moon, Mary Ann
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Jan 15, 2003
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