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July 1974

Aortic Aneurysms: How Shall We Find Them?

Author Affiliations

Department of Radiology Harvard Medical School 25 Shattuck St Boston, MA 02115

Arch Surg. 1974;109(1):11. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360010003001

Surgeons offer a wide spectrum of opinion on the sequence of diagnostic steps required in patients in whom they suspect an abdominal aneurysm. The article by Bergan et al in this issue of the Archives (see page 80) presents a new noninvasive method, radionuclide aortography, for examining such patients prior to surgical intervention.

It is not necessary to debate what specific information a surgeon should have prior to operation in order to set into perspective the utility of radionuclide aortography. Its usefulness will be determined as it evolves by the type of information it can reveal, its accuracy, the risk and expense of the procedure, and the characteristics of alternative methods for deriving similar diagnostic information. There are now four diagnostic methods for evaluating the anatomy of aortic aneurysm that extend beyond the limitations of the palpating hand: x-ray films of the abdomen, ultrasonography, radionuclide aortography, and contrast aortography. We