An evaluation of new methods of expressing aortic aneurysm size: relationship to rupture.
The diameter of aortic aneurysms were standardized to measures of patient size and normal aortic size in an effort to define indexes that might be more predictive of aneurysm rupture than raw aneurysm diameter alone. Normal aortic diameters were measured in 100 patients undergoing abdominal CT scans for other reasons, and an average infrarenal aortic diameter of 2.10 +/- 0.05 cm was observed. Normal aortic diameter was dependent on both age and sex, ranging from 1.71 +/- 0.06 cm in women below age 40 years to 2.85 +/- 0.04 cm in men above age 70 years. Overall, 11 (5.1%) of the ruptures occurred in aneurysms less than 5 cm in diameter, and four (1.9%) occurred in aneurysms less than 4.0 cm in diameter. When the CT scans of 100 patients undergoing elective aneurysm resection were compared with those of 36 patients with ruptured aneurysms, no threshold diameter value accurately discriminated between the two groups. However, standardization of the aneurysm diameter to the transverse diameter of the third lumbar vertebral body as an index of patient body size produced an accurate predictor of rupture when a threshold ratio of 1.0 was used. No aneurysm ruptured below this ratio, but 29% of elective aneurysms were smaller than the vertebral body diameter. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis confirmed the superiority of the aneurysm to vertebral body diameter ratio as a discriminator of ruptured aneurysms. It appears that aneurysm diameter alone is not sufficiently predictive of rupture to be used as the sole indication for elective resection.
Ouriel, K; Green, RM; Donayre, C; Shortell, CK; Elliott, J; DeWeese, JA
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