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Definition of Cerebral Aneurysm
A cerebral or brain aneurysm is a cerebrovascular disorder in which weakness in the wall of a cerebral artery or vein causes a localized dilation or ballooning of the blood vessel.
Symptoms of Cerebral Aneurysm
A small, unchanging aneurysm will produce little, if any, symptoms. Before a larger aneurysm ruptures, the individual may experience such symptoms as a sudden and unusually severe headache, nausea, vision impairment, vomiting, and loss of consciousness, or the individual may be asymptomatic, experiencing no symptoms at all.
If an aneurysm ruptures, it leaks blood into the space around the brain. This is called a “subarachnoid hemorrhage.” Depending on the amount of blood, it can produce:
Causes of Cerebral Aneurysm
Aneurysms may result from congenital defects, preexisting conditions such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries), or head trauma. Cerebral aneurysms occur more commonly in adults than in children but they may occur at any age. They are more common in women than in men, by a ratio of 3 to 2.
Diagnosis of Cerebral Aneurysm
Diagnostic tests include:
Treatment of Cerebral Aneurysm
Emergency treatment for individuals with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm generally includes restoring deteriorating respiration and reducing intracranial pressure. Currently there are two treatment options for securing intracranial aneurysms: Surgical clipping or endovascular coiling. If possible, either surgical clipping or endovascular coiling is usually performed within the first 24 hours after bleeding to occlude the ruptured aneurysm and reduce the risk of rebleeding.
Prognosis of Cerebral Aneurysm
The prognosis for a patient with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm depends on the extent and location of the aneurysm, the person's age, general health, and neurological condition. Some individuals with a ruptured cerebral aneurysm die from the initial bleeding. Other individuals with cerebral aneurysm recover with little or no neurological deficit. The most significant factors in determining outcome are grade (see Hunt and Hess grade above) and age. Generally patients with Hunt and Hess grade I and II hemorrhage on admission to the emergency room and patients who are younger within the typical age range of vulnerability can anticipate a good outcome, without death or permanent disability. Older patients and those with poorer Hunt and Hess grades on admission have a poor prognosis. Generally, about two thirds of patients have a poor outcome, death, or permanent disability.
Prevention of Cerebral Aneurysm
Consult with your doctor.
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