Essay: Tests for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

16 Jan

Essay: Tests for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

MRI is a useful, non invasive technique used in AAA. The advantages of MRI are that ionizing radiation is not used and the contrasts used are not nephrotoxic. Therefore, it is the modality of choice in patients with renal disease. The disadvantages of MRI are that it is not easily available everywhere and is more expensive than ultrasound and CT.

Contrast aortography is another modality used for the diagnosis. The quality of pictures obtained is excellent but it is not very reliable. This is because the presence of mural thrombus reduces the size of aortic lumen and therefore does not reflect the true diameter of the aneurysm. Aortography can accurately identify the extent of disease and indicate if other vessels like iliac arteries, renal arteries and femoral arteries are involved. The side effects of aortography are that the contrast used is nephrotoxic and there is risk of distal embolization, hemorrhage and pseudoaneurysm formation. Due to all these disadvantages, aortography is not as commonly used as other diagnostic modalities discussed previously.

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