also known as a Cerebral Aneurysm, is generally a bulge in a susceptible region
of a blood artery in or near your brain. The weakened area is continuously
pushed outward by blood flow, resulting in a bump that resembles a blister. The
aneurysm widens even further as blood pours into the bulge. It is like a
balloon that becomes thinner and more liable to burst as it is filled with air.
Your brain bleeds if the aneurysm ruptures or leaks (bursts open). They can
affect any age group including children but are more commonly seen after 40
years to 50 years of age. It is a relatively rare condition with reports
suggesting that it affects around 76,500–204,100 people in India annually.
of a ruptured Brain Aneurysm
is the hallmark feature of Aneurysm rupture. There may be associated vomiting,
lots of consciousness, seizures, limb weakness or neurological difficulties.
Sometimes aneurysms (especially large/giant) present as mass lesions causing
brain compression and leading to neurological difficulties.
The exact cause
of a Brain Aneurysm is unknown. There are acquired and coagmented factors which
play a role. These include –
HypertensionSmokingInfection in the bloodCocaine and amphetamine usageDamage to the brain due to
trauma (generally a result of car crashes)Atherosclerosis (which is an
accumulation of fat on the walls of the blood vessel)
Who is at
risk of having Brain Aneurysms?
Older WomenIndividuals ranging in age from
40 to 60 yearsThose who have a history of
aneurysms in their familyThose possessing an unusual
blood vessels condition, such as cerebral arteritis, fibromuscular dysplasia or
arterial dissectionPeople who suffer from a
connective tissue-related genetic condition Mar fair syndromePatients with renal polycystic
diseaseThose born with a cerebral
aneurysm as a congenital abnormalities.
Diagnosing Brain Aneurysm
An imaging test is generally ordered by a neurosurgery doctor to
diagnose a case of a brain aneurysm. The size, form and location of the
aneurysm are revealed by tests such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed
tomography, diagnostic cerebral angiogram, magnetic resonance angiography and
computed tomography angiography. Sometimes, the initial test may not detect a
ruptured aneurysm. Your doctor might suggest a lumbar puncture if your symptoms
suggest a ruptured aneurysm (spinal tap). This examination reveals whether or
not there is blood present in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Surviving a Brain Aneurysm
Unruptured brain aneurysms can remain undetected for the entirety of
a person’s life. The risk of their rupture relies on a number of variables, including
the aneurysm’s size, placement and other elements. A hemorrhagic stroke is
brought on if an aneurysm ruptures, leaking blood into the area around your
brain and occasionally into the brain tissue itself.
medical care is required for a ruptured brain aneurysm. The risk of death or
disability increases as time goes on with a ruptured aneurysm. With a ruptured
brain aneurysm, about 75% of patients survive for more than 24 hours. However,
one-fourth of the survivors could experience fatal consequences within six
months. If you believe you are experiencing signs of a burst or ruptured brain
aneurysm, dial 108 or visit an emergency room. Your chances of survival are
higher depending on how early you can receive medical care.
into or surrounds the brain when the aneurysm ruptures or leaks. The irritated
brain tissue caused by the blood pooling might cause swelling of the brain,
which can result in permanent brain injury, stroke or further issues like:
Due to sudden intracranial
pressure blood flow to the brain may stop, causing the patient to become
unconscious or even die.Vasospasm is a condition in
which the blood vessels constrict and the oxygen supply to the brain is limitedA condition known as
hydrocephalus, or “water on the brain”, is a buildup of spinal fluid
surrounding the brain that causes pressureComa, wherein you are
unconscious for numerous days to weeksHyponatremia is a condition
where the sodium level in the blood fluctuates and can harm the brain by enlarging
brain cellsMuscle convulsions, often known
as seizures, can exacerbate existing brain injury.
An Aneurysm in
the brain that has ruptured can be treated in one of two ways:
An Aneurysm is closed through
surgery using a technique called clipping. Your skull is partially removed by
the neurosurgeon in order to reach the Aneurysm. The blood vessel feeding the Aneurysm
is then identified. The neurosurgeon will then put a tiny metal clip on the Aneurysm’s
neck in order to stop blood flow into itIn the Endovascular technique,
the surgeon places a catheter into an artery, commonly in your wrist or groin,
and threads it through your body to the aneurysm. A flow diverter, an
intraluminal flow disruptor, a stent, coils or different combinations of these
devices is then used to block the aneurysmBoth treatments are effective
& can be safely done. Though endovascular appears less invasive.
It is improbable
that an Aneurysm will go away on its own after being discovered. However,
leading a healthy lifestyle can lower the chance of aneurysm growth, change,
rupture or the formation of a new Aneurysm.
Steps that could
be taken are as follows:
Giving up smokingRegular exercise without overly
strenuous liftingConsuming a healthy dietAvoiding cocaine or any other
stimulant substances and seeking help if you have an alcohol or drug use
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are of the author and not of Medical Dialogues. The Editorial/Content team of Medical Dialogues has not contributed to the writing/editing/packaging of this article.