Aneurysm

by: Brandon Campos & Brian Rojas

What is it ?

An aneurysm occurs when parts of the blood vessel (artery) or cardiac chamber swells,-either the blood vessel is damaged , or there is a weakness in the wall of the blood vessel.

Who is most likely to get it ?

People of any age and either sex can have an aneurysm although they are more common in men and people over 65 years of age.

Symptoms

Can have no symptoms, but people may experience:

Pain: Chest, Abdomen, Lower Back, or Flank

Also common: Cough or shortness of breath, Hoarseness, Difficulty or pain while swallowing

Diagnosing

The type of diagnostic testing performed depends on the location of the aneurysm. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for an aneurysm may include any, or a combination, of the following:

  • computed tomography angiography scan (also called a CTA scan)
  • magnetic resonance imaging and angiography (MRI/MRA)
  • arteriogram (angiogram)

Treatment for Brain Aneurysm

Brain aneurysm is treated in a variety of methods, or a combination of methods, depending on the type of aneurysm and the individual patient, which may include:

  • Microsurgical clipping
  • Endovascular techniques:
    • Endovascular coiling
    • Endovascular stent coiling
    • Artery occlusion and bypass
    • Flow diversion with stents


FACT: 20% of aneurysm patients have multiple aneurysms, often on opposite sides of the brain. Traditionally, surgeons perform two separate operations, one for each side of the brain. Dr Rafael Tamargo, director of the Johns Hopkins Cerebrovascular Center, is among a handful of surgeons worldwide to use a one-surgery, contralateral approach.

Aneurysm prognosis

Researchers estimate that about 6 million people in United States have an unruptured brain aneurysm, and about 10% to 15% of these people will have more than one brain aneurysm. Someone with an unruptured brain aneurysm has about a 1% chance of the aneurysm rupturing per year. Patients with “giant” aneurysms (1 inch or greater in diameter) have a much higher risk of rupture. The survival rate for those with a ruptured brain aneurysm is about 60% (40% die).
Aneurysms - Causes, Symptoms, Treatments & More…