Recommendation ID

What are the most effective and cost-effective frequencies for monitoring people with unruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) of different diameters, and what is the optimal AAA threshold size (inner-to-inner maximum anterior-posterior diameter on ultrasound) for repair?

Any explanatory notes
(if applicable)

More frequent monitoring increases the chances of identifying aneurysms that have grown large enough to be considered for repair. However, monitoring requires resources and the absolute risk of AAA rupture is relatively low, so there are opportunity costs to consider. It is important to establish how often aneurysms should be monitored to keep the risk of rupture as low as possible while making the best use of NHS resources.

The optimal threshold for repair of an AAA is not clear. There is good evidence that in most cases people do not need repair for aneurysms measuring smaller than 5.5 cm (inner-to-inner maximum anterior-posterior aortic diameter) on ultrasound. However, for some people a threshold above 5.5 cm may be more appropriate.

Source guidance details

Comes from guidance
Abdominal aortic aneurysm: diagnosis and management
Date issued
March 2020

Other details

Is this a recommendation for the use of a technology only in the context of research? No  
Is it a recommendation that suggests collection of data or the establishment of a register?   No  
Last Reviewed 01/03/2020