What Is the Ideal Imaging Strategy for Diagnosing AAA, Abdominal Aortic Dissection, and Aortic Rupture?
Bennett A. Myers
The best imaging modality for diagnosis and preoperative management of abdominal aortic pathology is computed tomography angiography (CTA) due to its ability to quickly and accurately map the aneurysm or dissection, identifying location, size, and other involved arterial branches. Ultrasound is the imaging modality of choice for rapid bedside diagnosis of abdominal aortic aneurysm in the emergency setting. It is also used for surveillance of known aneurysmal disease. Diagnostic studies should not delay operative management in patients with strong clinical suspicion for aortic rupture, especially if the patient is hemodynamically unstable and has a previous diagnosis of aortic aneurysm and/or dissection.