Intracranial aneurysms and subarachnoid hemorrage

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Intracranial aneurysms and subarachnoid hemorrage

Intracranial aneurysm is a lump or dilation in a blood vessel in the brain that can cause a hemorrhagic stroke, known as subarachnoid hemorrhage

The presence of a brain aneurysm generally does not create health problems or cause symptoms, and is often detected by tests done for other conditions.

Rupture of an aneurysm, however, causes intracranial bleeding and may be life threatening, demanding prompt treatment. Immediate treatment is indicated when a patient presents with the sudden onset of what is usually referred to as a most intense thunderclap headache.

Among the symptoms associated with subarachnoid hemorrhage, sudden onset and intense headache is referred, it may be associated with neck stiffness, pain behind the eye, blurred vision, altered consciousness or loss of consciousness.

Some of the risk factors associated with developing brain aneurysms are, trauma, advanced age, congenital diseases, smoking, alcohol abuse, high blood pressure.

As mentioned, congenital anomalies may be associated with the development of intracranial aneurysms, due to connective tissue disorders. Heritage also plays a role in the development of brain aneurysms, and other vascular diseases.

Treatment of a non-ruptured aneurysm depends on its location, size, type, risk of rupture, patient’s age, health status, as well as of any other medical issues.

There are two surgical management options available:

  • Vascular clipping, in order to shut blood flow through the aneurysm. A trained neurosurgeon places a device known as vascular clip at the origin of the aneurysm. Clipping the aneurysm is the deffinitive treatment.
  • An alternative is endovascular embolization. It consists of passing a small catheter through the blood vessels inside the brain and deploying small, spring-like materials, known as coils, inside the aneurysm, so blood flow is stopped. Eventually the aneurysm is completely excluded from the vessel.

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