An aneurysm occurs when a segment of a blood artery in the brain bulges or expands. Every brain aneurysm is different in terms of its location, form, and size. A neurosurgeon will use these details to determine how and whether to treat a brain aneurysm.
Dr. Gurneet Singh Sawhney, one of the , provides cutting-edge and result-oriented brain aneurysm treatments.
Every year, approximately 76,000 to 200,000 cases of brain aneurysms are reported in India. Therefore, patients’ access to adequate, affordable healthcare and awareness of the condition has a substantial impact on the medical care they receive.
Please continue reading to learn more about brain aneurysms, their causes, and symptoms, as well as how to diagnose and treat them.
First, let’s know more about,
What is a Brain Aneurysm?
A brain aneurysm is a weak, bulging patch in a cerebral artery, similar to a thin balloon or a weak spot on the inner tube of a tire. An aneurysm is at risk of rupturing because its walls are thin. Aneurysms are most common in adults between the ages of 35 and 60.
Which Factors Triggers Brain Aneurysm?
Brain aneurysms are uncommon in children. Adults, on the other hand, are more likely to develop them. Smoking, high blood pressure, and specific genetic disorders are the most common causes of aneurysm formation and rupture.
What Happens If a Brain Aneurysm Ruptures?
Blood seeps into the gap between the brain and its coverings when a brain aneurysm ruptures. It is a severe type of stroke known as subarachnoid hemorrhage. This form of stroke is 40% life-threatening and leaves more than half of survivors disabled.
Are Unruptured Brain Aneurysms Common?
An unruptured brain aneurysm affects around 2% to 4% of adults. Women are more likely than men to develop a brain aneurysm, and they have a higher risk of rupture. The majority of brain aneurysms are tiny (a few millimetres in diameter) and have a low risk of rupture.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Aneurysm?
- Since most brain aneurysms are tiny, symptoms before they rupture, are uncommon.
- Some aneurysms develop larger, causing headaches or interfering with the nerves in the brain that regulate eye movements.
- An aneurysm rupture might be described as the “worst headache of life.”
- The patient can experience neck stiffness, sensitivity to intense light, dizziness, seizures, or vomiting.
Now, let’s know,
How is a Brain Aneurysm Diagnosed?
Symptoms of a brain aneurysm may include headaches and double vision. However, they frequently produce no symptoms at all. As a result, neurosurgeons are often first alerted to a brain aneurysm through an imaging exam the patient might have for a completely unrelated reason.
Neurosurgeons use multiple tests to confirm a brain aneurysm diagnosis:
- CTA scan: A CTA scan is a type of CT scan that examines the blood vessels.
- MRA scan: Magnetic resonance angiogram – MRA is a kind of magnetic resonance imaging – MRI that monitors blood vessels.
- Angiogram: A typical angiogram involves inserting a tiny, thin catheter into the body to examine the blood arteries better.
It is the gold standard for detecting brain aneurysms since it provides a three-dimensional image of the aneurysm with precise details that determine the best treatment.
Let’s discuss about,
Brain Aneurysm Treatment
Several factors determine the ideal approach for treating an aneurysm. Some of them include:
- The aneurysm’s size, location, and shape.
- The risk of an aneurysm rupturing depends on its location and rate of expansion.
- Patient’s age and overall health.
- Patient’s medical history, mainly whether aneurysms run in the patient’s family.
Ruptured and unruptured aneurysms can be treated by reducing or cutting the aneurysm’s blood supply, making it less prone to rupture due to high blood pressure. These are some of the surgical methods for treating brain aneurysms:
Microsurgical clipping: It is an open surgical treatment that cuts the blood supply to the aneurysm.
Platinum coil embolization: It involves introducing platinum coils through a catheter into the artery where the aneurysm is developed and cutting the aneurysm’s blood supply. In the case of wide-based aneurysms, adjuncts such as balloons, stents, and neck reconstruction devices may be used.
Flow diversion: It is an endovascular technique in which a device, such as a stent (a tiny, flexible mesh tube), is placed through a catheter into the artery that contains the aneurysm, limiting blood flow to the aneurysm.
Intrasaccular Flow Diversion: It is an endovascular technique that involves placing a mesh device inside the aneurysm to obstruct it.
An unruptured brain aneurysm may go undiagnosed for years, and it may not cause any symptoms at all. A rupture, on the other hand, can be life-threatening.
You may take a proactive step in safeguarding your health by scheduling routine check-ups, addressing risk factors you can control, keeping an eye out for warning signals, and seeking treatment as soon as possible if you see these symptoms.