Aneurysm (Brain) Topic Guide
Brain Aneurysm : A brain aneurysm is a balloning of a blood vessel in the brain that can be life-threatening. A combination of environmental and genetic factors are believed to play a role in the developement of brain aneurysms. Certain medical conditions such as high blood pressure, head trauma, and ateriovenous malformations (AVMs) increase the risk for brain aneurysms. The signs and symptoms of a brain aneurysm are variable. Headache, visual disturbances, seizures, fainting, and confusion are just a few possible symptoms of a brain aneurysm. A brain aneurysm is diagnosed via a CT scan, MRI, blood tests, and other types of imaging. The size of the aneurysm and the age of the patient help determine whether surgery (clipping, placement of a coil, or suction of the blood clot) is performed. Other potential treatments include medication to reduce the chance of seizures and high blood pressure. The prognosis of a brain aneurysm depends on the size and whether or not the aneurysm has ruptured. A patient with a small, unruptured brain aneurysm has a better prognosis than someone who has a large and/or ruptured brain aneurysm.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scanner that takes cross-sectional images of the body. It is used to evaluate tissues of the head, neck, chest, limbs, abdomen, and pelvis. MRI is a very safe procedure; sedation may be used for infants, small children, or adults who are claustrophobic.