Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening

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Topic Overview

Abdominal aortic aneurysms can be found during an ultrasound screening test. Screening tests help your doctor look for a certain disease or condition before any symptoms appear.

Talk to your doctor about whether the benefits of screening would outweigh the risks in your case. For more information, see:

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm: Should I Get a Screening Test?

For men

Your doctor may recommend a screening test if you are a man who is:

  • Age 65 to 75 and has ever smoked.footnote 1
  • At least 60 years old and who has a first-degree relative (for example, father or brother) who has had an aneurysm.footnote 2

Some doctors think that other men should be screened too. Some say all men 65 years and older should be screened, regardless of their risk. Some say men as young as 55 should be screened if they have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm.footnote 3

For women

Women have a lower risk for an aneurysm than men do. But some doctors think that certain women should be screened.

Some doctors recommend screening for women who are 65 and older and either have smoked or have a family history of abdominal aortic aneurysm.footnote 3

If you have never smoked, screening is not helpful for you.footnote 1

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  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2014). Screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm. http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf14/abdoman/abdomanfinalrs.htm. Accessed August 27, 2014.
  2. Hirsch AT, et al. (2006). ACC/AHA 2005 practice guidelines for the management of patients with peripheral arterial disease (lower extremity, renal, mesenteric, and abdominal aortic): A collaborative report from the American Association for Vascular Surgery/Society for Vascular Surgery, Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, Society for Vascular Medicine and Biology, Society of Interventional Radiology, and the ACC/AHA Task Force on Practice Guidelines (Writing Committee to Develop Guidelines for the Management of Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease): Endorsed by the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation; National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Society for Vascular Nursing; TransAtlantic Inter-Society Consensus; and Vascular Disease Foundation. Circulation, 113(11): e463–e654.
  3. Chaikof EL, et al. (2009). Care of patients with an abdominal aortic aneurysm: Society for Vascular Surgery practice guidelines. Journal of Vascular Surgery, 50(4, Suppl): S2–S49.


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David A. Szalay, MD - Vascular Surgery

Current as ofSeptember 9, 2014