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Cerebral Aneurysms

A cerebral aneurysm/intracranial aneurysm/brain aneurysm is a bulging of the weakened spot in the artery wall in the brain. This weak spot in the wall of the artery widens due to blood flow in the arteries and may rupture due to high blood pressure. An aneurysm can occur anywhere in the artery but mostly is seen in the front portion of the brain which supplies oxygen-rich blood to the brain.

Almost 90% of the aneurysms that are less than 10 millimetres do not show any symptoms and have a lower risk of rupturing. The risk of rupture is higher when aneurysms are larger than 10 millimetres in size.

Many factors are associated with cerebral aneurysms including: 

  • Smoking and drinking alcohol
  • High blood pressure
  • Genetics
  • Age
  • Accident/ trauma
  • Atherosclerosis

Symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm may include but not limited to:

  • Visual changes as aneurysm press against the nerves of the eye
  • Severe headaches (rare, if unruptured)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Mental and behavioural changes
  • Unconsciousness
  • Changes in mental status, such as drowsiness

A cerebral aneurysm can be detected by:

Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA): An intravenous contrast dye is injected to view the blood vessels using MRI images. 

Digital subtraction angiography (DSA): Contrast dye is injected in an artery via a catheter (a small, flexible, thin tube) and X-ray images of the blood vessels are taken to detect problems with blood vessels and blood flow. Book an appointment at Manipal, the Neurosurgery Hospital in Dwarka Delhi.  

Surgical treatments for a cerebral aneurysm include:

Open craniotomy (surgical clipping): In this procedure, a part of the skull is opened to access the aneurysm. The neck of the aneurysm is clipped with a metal clip to block blood flow into the aneurysm sac and the skull is secured back together. Visit Manipal to know more about Cerebral Aneurysms Treatment.

Coil embolization/Endovascular coiling: This is a minimally invasive procedure which uses fluoroscopy (live X-ray) and smaller incision to insert a catheter through the groin into the brain’s blood vessels to access the aneurysm. Small platinum coils are used to clot (embolization) the aneurysm to prevent its rupture.

 

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