Screening of the Abdominal Aorta during Routine Echocardiographic Examination Is Cost-effective and Leads to Increase in Statin Utilization by Detecting Subclinical Atherosclerosis

Melisa Dodge, Mohammad Reza Movahed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Performing abdominal aorta screenings during routine echocardiographic examination can be useful for quick detection of asymptomatic abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) without additional cost. Furthermore, detection of any atherosclerosis of the aorta during this screening would qualify the patient for statin therapy, with potential to improve outcome. The goal of our study was to evaluate the effect of routine screening of abdominal aorta during echocardiographic examination. Methods: Recently, we started performing routine AAA screening during routine echocardiographic examinations. We retrospectively studied a total of 727 patients with successful screening between the ages of 33 and 96 years, with a median age of 72.4 years. We evaluate the presence of atherosclerosis of aorta and its effect on lipid therapy and detection of asymptomatic AAA. Results: We found 18 (2.4%) asymptomatic AAAs and 468 (64.3%) cases of atherosclerosis of abdominal aorta. Retrospectively, data were collected on preventative lipid therapy. Of the 468 patients who had detected atherosclerosis of aorta, 414 patients had clinical follow up; 240 (57.9%) patients were already treated with a statin due to another indication. However, 38 (9.1%) of these patients had been started on statin drugs for the first time, 85 (20.5%) were set a new lower low density lipoprotein cholesterol goal, and 41 (9.9%) had an intensified statin treatment. Conclusions: Using a routine screening of the abdominal aorta during standard echocardiograms can markedly improve preventive statin therapy in patients, with asymptomatic atherosclerosis detected during screening without additional cost and detect some AAA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalCritical pathways in cardiology
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

Keywords

  • 2D echocardiography
  • aneurysm
  • aorta
  • aortic atheroma
  • atherosclerosis
  • ultrasound imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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