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May 1980

Tender Pulsatile Abdominal Mass: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm or Not?

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Radiology (Drs Kadir and Athanasoulis) and Surgery (Drs Brewster and Moncure), Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. Dr Kadir is presently with the Department of Radiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.

Arch Surg. 1980;115(5):631-633. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1980.01380050055012

• Twenty-nine patients had symptomatic pulsatile abdominal masses. Initially, six patients underwent emergency surgical exploration without prior arteriography. An abdominal aortic aneurysm was found in only one patient. In the next 23 patients, in whom arteriography was performed, no aneurysm was detected and emergency surgery could be avoided. In patients with symptomatic pulsatile abdominal masses, in the absence of hypovolemic shock the initial diagnostic study should be abdominal angiography. It is an accurate and safe procedure, and supplies the necessary preoperative information should abdominal aortic surgery become necessary. If, however, no aneurysm is found, valuable information is still obtained with regard to the underlying disease process.

(Arch Surg 115:631-633, 1980)

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