Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Ultrasound

What is an abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound? An abdominal aortic aneurysm ultrasound is a non-invasive test that uses sound waves to examine the abdominal aorta. The provider is looking for any abnormalities such as thinning and expansion of the abdominal aortic wall.

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Ultrasound

Why may this test be performed? Usually the test is ordered if patients report the following symptoms/conditions:

  • Intense back or abdominal pain
  • Rapid pulse
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shock

Who is at risk for an AAA? Individuals with the following conditions or lifestyles are at a higher risk of an abdominal aortic aneurysm:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Emphysema
  • Genetic factors
  • Males tend to be at higher risk
  • Age

How is the test performed? Your healthcare provider will ask you to lie on your back on an examination table with your abdomen exposed. Gel will be placed on the abdomen and an ultrasound wand, known as a transducer, will be moved across to collect images of your abdominal aorta.

Please do not eat for eight hours before your test. If you need to take medication, you can do so with a small sip of water.

Results: After the images are analyzed and written into a report, the physician who ordered the test will go over the results and any next steps that may need to be taken.