Screening for AAA Recommended for Smokers Aged 65-75
Posted by Clark Venable on 2/13/2005
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (part of AHRQ) now 'recommends one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) by ultrasonography in men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked.'
" Rationale: The USPSTF found good evidence that screening for AAA and surgical repair of large AAAs (5.5 cm or more) in men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked (current and former smokers) leads to decreased AAA-specific mortality. There is good evidence that abdominal ultrasonography, performed in a setting with adequate quality assurance (i.e., in an accredited facility with credentialed technologists), is an accurate screening test for AAA. There is also good evidence of important harms of screening and early treatment, including an increased number of surgeries with associated clinically-significant morbidity and mortality, and short-term psychological harms. Based on the moderate magnitude of net benefit, the USPSTF concluded that the benefits of screening for AAA in men aged 65 to 75 who have ever smoked outweigh the harms. "
Patients should also be made aware that there is an alternative to open AAA repairs known as 'endovascular repair.' NEJM recently published A Randomized Trial Comparing Conventional and Endovascular Repair of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms which concluded:
" On the basis of the overall results of this trial, endovascular repair is preferable to open repair in patients who have an abdominal aortic aneurysm that is at least 5 cm in diameter. Long-term follow-up is needed to determine whether this advantage is sustained. "
As an aside, wouldn't it be nice to be able to query our electronic medical record for all patients in our primary care practice who meet this criteria? Oh wait. We don't have EMR's (for the most part).
This post has 1 replies
See full thread