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Home :: Stroke :: Stroke Treatment Options : Brain Aneurysm
Brain Aneurysm
A brain aneurysm, also called a cerebral or intracranial aneurysm, is a weak spot in the blood vessel which causes an abnormal balloon like projection from the artery in the brain.

This aneurysm is generally present in the patient right from the beginning of life and keeps growing in size slowly due to high arterial blood pressure. At some stage, the wall of the balloon (aneurysm) gets stretched so much that it ruptures leading to hemorrhage.

Aneurysms are often discovered when they rupture. The bleeding in the brain, or the space closely surrounding the brain (subarachnoid space), caused due to this rupture, is called as subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH). SAH can lead to hemorrhagic stroke, brain damage and also death.

Sometimes incidental aneurysms are also detected during brain scanning done for other purposes. Large aneurysm called giant aneurysm can present with symptoms other than bleeding, like headache, visual difficulty or symptoms due to pressure on normal areas of brain.

Causes:
Aneurysms are not present at birth; they develop over a lifetime of an individual. Studies have revealed that genetic factors may make some people more prone to developing an aneurysm, but the exact pattern of inheritance is not defined. There are various risk factors that increase the risk of developing them and they are listed below:
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Diabetes
  • Type – A personality
Symptoms:
A ruptured aneurysm is a life threatening event. Any headache that is severe and comes on suddenly should prompt immediate evaluation by a Neurologist, particularly if it is associated with any of the following symptoms:
  1. vomiting
  2. seizure
  3. altered consciousness
  4. neurological defecits such as inability to speak, move an extremity, walk, severe dizziness, change in vision, etc
Treatment:
The main goals of treating an aneurysm once it has ruptured are to prevent the rebleeding and to prevent the brain from potential harmful effects of blood that has already spread in to the subarachnoid space and brain parenchyma.

ENDOVASCULAR THERAPY:
Endovascular Therapy of aneurysms or Aneurysm Coiling is a minimally invasive procedure in which a small catheter (plastic tube) from the femoral artery of the patient (groin region) is passed to the brain vessels and placed at the neck of the aneurysm. The aneurysm is then filled densely with special material called coils made of platinum.
Endovascular Therapy Endovascular Therapy
Once the aneurysm is completely packed with no residual neck, it eliminates the risk of rebleeding.

Endovascular Therapy

Open Surgery (Clipping):
Here the surgeons first need to open the skull and expose the brain to reach the aneurysm. The aneurysm is located using a small microscope. It is then obliterated by applying a small metallic clip of Platinum across the neck of aneurysm to stop the blood from flowing into it.
Open Surgery (Clipping):
After clipping the aneurysm, the bone flap is then placed into its original place and the wound is closed.

  • Types of stroke
  • Risk factors
  • Tests
  • Treatment options