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Diagnosis

Diagnostic Tests

If an abdominal aortic aneurysm is suspected, you will most likely be referred to a vascular specialist. He or she may order one or more of the following tests to confirm the suspicion.

Abdominal Ultrasound

This is a simple, painless test that uses sound waves to create a picture of the inside of your body. It shows the size of the aneurysm, if one is detected. The scan may be repeated every so often to see if your aneurysm is growing.

Computed Tomography (CT) Scan

A CT scan delivers computer-generated, x-ray images of your internal organs. A liquid dye that can be seen on x-ray is injected into a vein in your arm to outline the aorta on the scan. The scan can be used to determine the size and shape of an abdominal aneurysm more accurately than an ultrasound.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan

MRI uses magnets and radio waves to make images of the inside of your body. It is very precise in detecting aneurysms and pinpointing their exact size and location. This procedure does not involve the use of x-rays.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-8800

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