Most important things to know about it
A brain aneurysm is a weakness in the wall of one or more of the
brain’s blood vessels. This is mainly developed due to the thinning of
artery walls. The leak or rupture in the aneurysm could prove fatal
since it leaks the blood in the skull, on the surface or within the brain,
termed as brain haemorrhage.
In the present era, when MRIs and CT scans are available easily,
aneurysms are often detected during brain imaging ie MRI of the
brain done for multiple conditions essentially headaches, brain injury
or giddiness. The symptoms of brain aneurysm when it ruptures
primarily are severe headache, the other symptoms could also be a
stiff neck, seizure activity, altered sensorium, focal weakness.
The rupture of the aneurysm can cause disaster in the patients.
Statistically, 20-25% patients do not reach the hospital to receive
treatment. 50-60% patients who reach hospitals either succumb
or are left with severe disability and need signifi cant help even in
going through their daily lives. One third of the patients can go back
to their profession. It is thus, important to identify the aneurysms
which need to be treated before they rupture. It would not be right
to treat all the aneurysms, as the treatment obviously would have
inherent risk during the procedure averaging 2-3% (including risk to
life or neurological dysfunction), which may not be conducive.
The risk factors for rupture is the size, shape and location of the
aneurysm and history of ruptures of aneurysm in close family tree.
Smoking, hypertension too increases the risk.
The identifi cation of the aneurysm could be on MRI, CT ANGIO or
4 vessel Angiography of the brain. The treatment of the aneurysm
means obliteration of the aneurysm i.e cutting the aneurysm from
the circulation. There are two options available. It can be fi lled with
titanium coils to prevent bleeding. This is done by inserting a catheter
through the groin artery and reaching the place. Other option is
surgical clipping which is done by opening the skull and reaching the
aneurysm and placing a clip at the neck of the aneurysm and cutting
it off the circulation. Both the procedures obviously would have their
advantages and risk factors. It goes without saying we need to tailor
make a treatment for each aneurysm. This decision is based on the
technical data of the aneurysm, like the size of the neck/ location /age
of the patient. The opinion of the concerned doctor should be sought
for further treatment plan.