Improved reliability of ultrasonic surveillance of abdominal aortic aneurysms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: Small abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are usually managed conservatively by serial ultrasound examinations to assess size. The development of the size of the AAA will determine whether the patient is a candidate for surgery. The precision of measurement is therefore of considerable importance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy and the reproducibility of a newly developed echo-tracking ultrasonic system in the size evaluation of AAA. DESIGN: Prospective study at a University Hospital. MATERIAL AND METHODS: An echo-tracking ultrasound system with a 3.5 MHz transducer was used in 54 patients with AAA. Thirty-six patients had repeated measurements by one technician to evaluate the intra-observer variability. In another 18 patients with aortic dilatation/AAA, the measurements were repeated by a second technician in a blinded fashion with calculation of inter-observer variability. The reproducibility was evaluated both using linear regression and plots according to the method described by Bland and Altman. RESULTS: The mean diameter of the aorta was 37 mm (range 21-51 mm). The coefficient of correlation of repetitive measurements with one observer was r = 0.99 and with two observers r = 0.99. The intra-observer variability was 0.78 mm (S.D.) and the inter-observer variability 0.93 mm (S.D.). The intra- and inter-observer coefficient of variation (CV) was 2-3%. CONCLUSIONS: The newly developed echo-tracking ultrasonography seems at present to be the most accurate and reliable method to follow the diameter of an abdominal aortic aneurysm detecting relevant changes in the diameter exceeding 2 mm (2 S.D.). Thus it fulfils the requirements both for follow-up of conservatively managed AAAs and endovascularly treated aneurysms.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Surgery


  • Ultrasonography, Echo-tracking, Abdominal aortic aneurysm, Aneurysm surveillance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-153
JournalEuropean Journal of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Surgery Research Unit (013242220), Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200)