An Cerebral aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm is when the internal walls of the artery through which the blood flows in the brain becomes thin and causes it to form an outward bulge or balloon.
This may cause this blood vessel to burst or leak, which can result in bleeding in the brain.
This bleeding is called a non-traumatic Subarachnoid Haemorrhage – SAC.
This bleeding can cause brain tissues to die which may cause a full blown stroke, permanent damage to parts of the brain or even death.
There are two types of aneurysms:
These types of aneurysms are ones with a bulge on one side of the arterial wall with a distinct neck at its base. Saccular Aneurysms are the most common type of aneurysm and account for more than 80 to 90 percent of all aneurysms.
They have a sac or berry like shape and are also called berry aneurysms.
Berry aneurysms form at the bifurcation or at the Y segment of the large arteries.
These types of aneurysms are ones which bulges on both sides of the arterial walls and causes the expansion of blood vessels in all directions. Fusiform Aneurysms are less common and rarely ruptures, since these aneurysms do not have a neck.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Most times there are no symptoms until an aneurysm ruptures. Since large aneurysms have large bulges and these start to push against the brain structure
Symptoms cause by Unruptured Aneurysm include:
Loss of perception
Loss of balance
Symptoms cause by Ruptured Aneurysm include:
Loss of vision
Neck pain or stiffness
Pain above or behind the eyes
Most aneurysms are incidental findings as symptoms occur only when an aneurysm ruptures. They are often detected when diagnosing other conditions.
Diagnosing aneurysms are difficult. Incase you experience symptoms and your primary doctor suspects an aneurysm, and are referred to a neurosurgeon.
The Neurosurgeon will perform a full neurological evaluation and may prescribe imaging tests to determine the type, location and size of aneurysm.
The following tests could be prescribed:
CT – Scan (Computed Tomography)
MRA – Magnetic Resonance Angiography
DSA – Digital Subtraction Angiography
ObservationA wait and watch approach at times is the best option for certain patients with unruptured aneurysms which do not have symptoms. On carefully monitors aneurysm using imaging till there is a growth or presentation symptoms that call for surgical intervention.