Risk focused screening for vascular disease: One University Hospital's experience

Joseph P. Hughes, Rick Dubin, Angela Rodriguez-Wong, Francis J. Porreca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction. - Vascular screening programs have been gaining popularity in recent years; however, most programs accept all patients willing to participate. This study was designed to determine the yield of disease when screening examinations are limited to those most at risk, to stratify the amount of disease present in the at-risk population, and to establish which patients might benefit most from vascular screening. Materials and Methods. - Patients enrolled in a community outreach program for seniors 55 years of age and older were asked to participate in a free vascular screening. Screenings consisted of completion of a questionnaire, physical examination, limited carotid artery evaluation for stenosis, aorta evaluation for detection of aneurysm, and ankle/brachial index (ABI) calculation to detect peripheral vascular disease. Findings were grouped into "Normal," "Mild disease," and "Significant disease." Findings were then compared with the following controllable risk factors: hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, coronary artery disease (CAD), or smoking history. Results. - Between May 16 and October 17, 2007, 357 participants' (75 male, 157 female, mean age 72.9 years) results were analyzed. Overall, 140 participants (43%) had some form of vascular disease ("mild" and "significant" categories combined). Of 324 eligible participants, carotid findings showed 199 normal (61%), 104 mild (32%), and 21 significant (7%) results. Aorta findings showed 296 normal (91%), 25 mild (8%), and 3 significant (1%) results. ABI findings showed 278 normal (86%), 18 mild (6%), and 28 significant (8%) results. In participants with three or more risk factors, there was a greater probability that carotid (p = 0.0022) and peripheral vascular disease (p = 0.0003) would be detected; however, there was no predictive value for aortic aneurysm (p = 0.5). Conclusion. - Vascular screening programs focusing on the at-risk population may reduce unnecessary testing compared with programs evaluating all patients willing to participate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)118-123
Number of pages6
JournalJournal for Vascular Ultrasound
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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