Normal abdominal aortic aneurysm lab values (and what to do if they’re abnormal)
As a primary physician you are no stranger to the Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA) Test. These tests are crucial for screening patients for heart disease, the number one killer in the United States.
As your partner in preventing heart disease we want to support you by providing a refresher on tests that can help save your patient’s life. Let’s take a couple of minutes to discuss the purpose of AAA tests, what’s considered to be the normal range, what’s happening if it falls outside of the normal range, and what you should do next if your patient’s labs are outside of the normal range.
Next time your patient asks you about their lab values, you’ll have all this info fresh in your mind!
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Test
It’s relatively common to get an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA), and it’s often fatal because it’s typically present in older patients. With an aging population, the likelihood of seeing AAAs appear more frequently increases, so it’s time to be vigilant to care for patients well.
As you know, AAAs can be asymptomatic, which is why physical examination lacks the sensitivity needed to accurately detect an aneurysm. This is why conducting an AAA test is important to determine if a patient is at risk for an AAA or currently has one.
Instead of using a physical examination, we suggest utilizing an abdominal ultrasound scan or computerized tomographic (CT) scan. They are simple, non-invasive examinations done on an outpatient basis. The tests allow us to measure the size and shape of the abdominal aortic aneurysm, which is an important factor when deciding the best course of treatment.
What’s considered normal for an abdominal aortic aneurysm test?
After the ultrasound is conducted by a technician, the scan will be sent to the lab for measurement. Once the tests are evaluated, a report is given to the doctor detailing the findings of the scan as they relate to an abdominal aortic aneurysm.
- A normal test would conclude that if an aneurysm is present and that it is less than 3 cm in diameter, and no further testing is necessary.
- If the aneurysm measures 3-4 cm in diameter and below the renal arteries, then the patient needs to have testing conducted every 12 months.
- If it measures 4-4.5 cm in diameter, then the patient should be measured every six months.
- Lastly, if the aneurysm is measuring greater than 4.5 cm in diameter, then you should consider referring your patient to a vascular subspecialist.
Typically, if the abdominal aortic aneurysm expands by more than 0.6 to 0.8 cm per year, then the patient should be offered repair.
Regardless of the size of a present aneurysm, patients should be educated about the signs of symptomatic and ruptured aneurysms. If they experience new or unusual pain in the back, groin, testicles, legs, or buttocks, then emergency medical attention should be requested.
Testing for abdominal aortic aneurysms is also important in determining the location of the aneurysm. If a patient needs to see a vascular surgeon, it’s important to know if the aneurysm is above or below the renal artery. This is one of the many reasons why Vasolabs prides itself on delivering the most accurate testing available.
Proactively protect your patients with on-site comprehensive cardiovascular ultrasound diagnostics.
At Vasolabs, we want to do our part to stamp out disease and save lives. We look at Vasolabs as more than a business – it’s about saving lives. We want families to enjoy their loved ones for longer and for patients to experience all the wonders of life. We want to create a community that shares this same goal to prevent heart attacks and strokes.
We partner with physicians and provide the most accurate, complete information possible to help them in their primary goal of preventing and eliminating the need for treatment.
Vasolabs only employs industry-leading measurement techniques and processes, and we only work with highly trained sonographers using the most current ultrasound hardware. Our high standards ensure the most accurate data as part of our goal of offering the best testing available.
Partner with Vasolabs to offer abdominal aortic aneurysm diagnostic testing to your cash-based medical practice
If you’re ready to provide your patients with proactive diagnostic testing at your office, then it’s time to contact Vasolabs and learn how you can partner with us to provide these tests for your patients. If you have additional questions about the abdominal aorta aneurysm testing we are happy to answer them! Contact us today to schedule your consultation.