Small ruptured abdominal aneurysm diagnosed by emergency physician ultrasound

Am J Emerg Med. 1999 Mar;17(2):174-5. doi: 10.1016/s0735-6757(99)90055-4.


Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms currently have a high rate of both mortality and misdiagnosis. Aneurysms smaller than 4 cm are not commonly considered for surgical repair. This report describes the case of a ruptured abdominal aneurysm measuring less than 4 cm diagnosed by the emergency physician utilizing bedside ultrasound. Within 30 minutes of arrival at the emergency department the patient's abdominal pain resolved spontaneously after defecation. If the bedside ultrasound had not been performed it is possible the patient would have been discharged from the hospital without surgical intervention. Bedside ultrasound by emergency physicians may improve the diagnosis of ruptured aortic aneurysms, particularly if the presentation is atypical.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / surgery
  • Aortic Rupture / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aortic Rupture / surgery
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Emergencies*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Ultrasonography