A brain aneurysm is a protruding bubble or sac on a blood vessel caused by a weak spot in the vessel wall that balloons out over time.
- Brain Aneurysms have thin, weak walls and a tendency to rupture, causing bleeding into and around vital brain structures.
- Causes include blood vessel defects at birth, a blockage or thinning of a blood vessel opening, infection or head trauma.
- Diseases associated with brain aneurysms include polycystic kidney disease, fibromuscular dysplasia, arteriovenous malformations, connective tissue disorders, other family members with brain aneurysms, and Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome.
- Autopsy studies indicate a prevalence of approximately 5 percent. About half of brain aneurysms rupture.
- Most brain aneurysms are undetected until they rupture.
- Some are discovered after they cause mass effect, or compression of the brain or sensitive structures such as cranial nerves.
- Brain aneurysms also are discovered during diagnosis of small strokes and seizures.
- A computed tomography (CT) scan can identify presence of a brain aneurysm that bleeds into the space surrounding the brain.
- Cerebral angiography provides important information regarding the location of the brain aneurysm and the presence or absence of vasospasm, or the sudden constriction of an artery.
Brain Aneurysm Treatment
- The optimal treatment depends upon the patient’s history, physical examination, age and risk factors, and the characteristics of the brain aneurysm.
- Ruptured brain aneurysms require immediate treatment to prevent another rupture. Rebleeding is very common, especially within the first two weeks after rupture, and usually more severe than the initial rupture.
- Surgical treatment involves either surgical clipping or endovascular coiling to stop the flow of blood into the weakened artery.
- Giant and complex aneurysms often require combined treatment using endovascular techniques in conjunction with extracranial-intracranial arterial bypass, or surgery under hypothermic circulatory arrest.
- Endovascular surgery: Using angioplasty techniques the aneurysms can be obliterated using multiple coils. This is a minimally invasive technique avialable with us at Apollo Hospitals.