Pocket-Size Mobile Echocardiographic Screening of Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms in Hypertensive Patients
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Patients with hypertension may develop a thoracic aortic aneurysm (TAA) that can be asymptomatic but potentially life-threatening. We sought to assess the prevalence of asymptomatic TAA among hypertensive patients with a point-of-care screening program using pocket-size mobile echocardiographic (PME) devices.

We prospectively performed transthoracic aortic ultrasound using a PME device on patients attending our hypertension clinics between June 2016 and July 2018. The echo examinations were performed by a research fellow to obtain aortic diameter measurements including the aortic sinus, sinotubular junction, ascending aorta, aortic arch, and descending thoracic aorta through various standard echo views. Images were stored on the PME and transferred to a desktop computer for measurements and further statistical analysis.

During the study period 1529 hypertensive patients (mean age, 62 years [range, 30-85]; 824 men) were recruited. The prevalence of TAA (defined as maximum aortic diameter ≥ 4.5 cm and/or >50% larger than the diameter of the adjacent normal aorta) in our study population was 7.5% (115/1529). Multiple logistic regression analysis identified male gender (odds ratio, 2.120; P < .0001) and older age (odds ratio, 1.031; P < .0001) as independent factors associated with TAA.

Silent TAA is common among hypertensive patients in Hong Kong. We found the PME device to be effective in detecting TAA in a clinic setting. Such an approach may be useful for early detection of TAA among at-risk patients, allowing aggressive blood pressure control and early surgical intervention to prevent catastrophic complications.
Acceptance Date10/07/2020
All Author(s) ListHung-Leung Wong R, Yang F, Fujikawa T, Chi-Sang Wong M, Chun-Ho Yu S, Underwood MJ, Pui-Wai Lee A
Journal nameAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Volume Number111
Issue Number5
Pages1554 - 1559
LanguagesEnglish-United Kingdom
KeywordsThoracic aortic aneurysm, echocardiography, screening, hypertension

Last updated on 2021-18-09 at 00:05