Cerebral aneurysm (dilated cerebral artery)

Head | Neurology | Cerebral aneurysm (dilated cerebral artery) (Disease)


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. An aneurysm may be present from birth called congenital, pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure and atherosclerosis or it may develop later in life, such as after a blood vessel is injured.

A person may have an aneurysm without having any symptoms. However, a large unruptured aneurysm may press on brain tissues and nerves, possibly causing: pain above and behind an eye; a dilated pupil; change in vision or double vision; numbness, weakness or paralysis of one side of the face; a drooping eyelid. A sudden, severe headache is the key symptom of a ruptured aneurysm.

A ruptured aneurysm also include: nausea and vomiting; stiff neck; blurred or double vision; sensitivity to light; seizure; a drooping eyelid; loss of consciousness; confusion. A cerebral aneurysm may begin to leak a small amount of blood. This may cause a severe headache.

Causes and risk factors

A number of factors can contribute to weakness in an artery wall and increase the risk of a brain aneurysm. Some of these risk factors develop over time like older age, smoking, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis, drug abuse, head injury, heavy alcohol consumption, certain blood infections, lower estrogen levels after menopause; others are present at birth such as inherited connective tissue disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Polycystic kidney, abnormally narrow aorta, cerebral arteriovenous malformation and family history.

Complications that can develop after the rupture of an aneurysm include: re-bleeding, vasospasm, hydrocephalus, hyponatremia.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is based on result tests of CT scan, MRI, and cerebral angiogram.

The treatment is based on two common methods that are used to repair an aneurysm: clipping and endovascular repair. It also involves medication and bed rest. ...

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