Patricia B. (Peplinski) Acker Fund: Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Preventive Screenings
The Peplinski family has a hereditary predisposition to aortic and cardiac aneurysms, with four of the seven children of Theodore and Catherine having an aneurysm. With proceeds from Patricia Acker's estate, a daughter of Theodore and Catherine, a fund was established to help screen for this potentially deadly condition. The fund supports the costs of ultrasound screenings for abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA). In addition, the physicians of the Michigan CardioVascular Institute (MCVI) have generously agreed to interpret test results at no charge.
What is an Aneurysm?
An aneurysm is an abnormal bulge in the wall of an artery. Most aneurysms occur in the aorta, the main artery that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body (abdomen, pelvis and legs). An aneurysm that occurs in the aorta in the abdomen is called an abdominal aortic aneurysm. Three out of four aortic aneurysms are abdominal aortic aneurysms.
The Screening Test
Ultrasound screening of the abdomen has been shown to be a reliable and accurate method for detecting abdominal aortic aneurysms.
An abdominal aortic aneurysm can occur in anyone, but it most often occurs in men who are over the age of 60. The exact cause is unknown, but several additional risk factors have been identified.
- Family history of abdominal aortic aneurysms
- Coronary heart disease
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Cerebrovascular disease
Who is Eligible for the Free Screening?
A physician referral is required. If the patient is a male over the age of 60, two additional risk factors must be present. If the patient is an adult male under the age of 60 or an adult female, four risk factors must be present.
To be considered for the free screening, download the referral packet and discuss it with your family doctor. At this time, screenings are only conducted at the Michigan CardioVascular Institute.