What Is a Brain Aneurysm?
A brain aneurysm – also known as a cerebral aneurysm or intracranial aneurysm – is a bulge that forms inside the wall of an artery that supplies blood to the brain. The wall of the artery stretches out and becomes very thin, like an inflated balloon.
A brain aneurysm is a serious medical condition that can leak or rupture, causing internal bleeding in the brain – a condition called a subarachnoid hemorrhage. A ruptured aneurysm can result in a stroke, permanent brain damage or death.
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Brain Aneurysm Symptoms
A brain aneurysm that is small in size may not show any signs or symptoms. However, a large aneurysm may cause dizziness, loss of concentration, neck pain, fatigue, numbness, headaches, and blurred or double vision.
If you’re suffering from any of these neurological symptoms, you should immediately seek medical assistance.
How to Detect a Brain Aneurysm
Cerebral aneurysms are difficult to detect without proper medical equipment. Oftentimes they are unintentionally discovered while a patient is being evaluated for other medical conditions.
In cases where there are signs of a brain aneurysm, there are three advanced imaging techniques Dr. Ahuja can use for diagnosis: magnetic resonance angiography (MRA), computerized tomography angiography (CTA) or an angiogram.
The staff at Neurosurgery and Endovascular Associates are experts in the field of advanced detection of brain aneurysms.
An MRA is a noninvasive imaging technique that allows doctors to see the structure of the blood vessels in the brain. An MRA is very similar to an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
A CTA is a 3-dimensional, non-invasive imaging technique to see the structure of the blood vessels in the brain by combining CT scanning and imaging after dye is injected through an IV.
An angiogram is an imaging technique used to see how blood flows in the arteries and veins in real time. During an angiogram, a catheter is placed through an artery in the groin area and advanced into a blood vessel in the brain. Dye is injected into the artery, which can be seen by a fluoroscope, a special X-ray machine that captures video.
Specific patient circumstances may make one of these tests more appropriate. For example, patients with pacemakers cannot have MRAs, and patients with an iodine contrast allergy may not be able to have a CTA.
Types of Brain Aneurysms
There are two types of aneurysms: saccular and fusiform. A saccular aneurysm, the most common type, balloons into sacs or pouches in the walls of blood vessels. Fusiform aneurysms are an expansion of both sides of a blood vessel, producing a widening of the artery.
Brain Aneurysm Treatment
Dr. Ahuja has more than 20 years of experience in comprehensive neurosurgical care. His expertise allows him to present patients with the best options for treating their specific aneurysm. Furthermore, in cases with unforeseen complications involving the brain, he can intervene immediately with both endovascular and neurosurgical tools at his disposal.
To learn more about treatment options, including aneurysm surgery, visit the brain aneurysm treatment page.