Cerebral aneurysm

What is a cerebral aneurysm?

A cerebral aneurysm is a cerebrovascular disease characterized by a dilatation of the arterial wall that can lead to rupture or internal bleeding. Approximately 5% of the population has an aneurysm in the brain, but few actually produce symptoms or rupture.

A brain aneurysm can be congenital, traumatic, tumor, arteriosclerosis, infectious or habitual consumption of toxic substances.

On the other hand, depending on the shape of the aneurysm are divided into secular, fusiform, use-shaped and lateral; they can also be classified by size. All aneurysms can be complicated by rupture of the vessel and lead to cerebral hemorrhage, causing a cerebral vascular accident, which can cause irreversible nerve damage.

Aneurysms are asymptomatic, only manifesting themselves when they become large.

Symptoms of a cerebral aneurysm

Aneurysms are asymptomatic, they only manifest themselves when they become large, leak blood or rupture, causing very intense headaches, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, seizures or sudden loss of consciousness.

If the aneurysm presses on the nerves of the brain, it may cause drooping eyelid, double vision, dilated pupils, pain above or behind the eye and numbness or weakness of one side of the face or body.

Several tests such as angiography or CT scan are used to diagnose cerebral aneurysms.

What are the causes of cerebral aneurysm?

The dilatations that end up causing cerebral aneurysms cause failures in the blood vessel wall that trigger an increase in its diameter, leading to a risk of rupture and massive internal hemorrhage.

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The main risk factors that can lead to this are: hypertension, smoking, certain diseases, a history of facilitating or infections in the central nervous system or brain, among others.

Can it be prevented?

To prevent cerebral aneurysms, you must control your cardiovascular risk factors and control diseases that can weaken blood vessels, such as diabetes, cholesterol and arteriosclerosis; in addition, you should maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoid stress and the consumption of tobacco and alcohol.

When an aneurysm is detected, an ultrasound scan should be performed from time to time (for example, six months) to monitor its possible growth.

What is the treatment?

Treatment will depend on whether the aneurysm is intact or has ruptured. In the first case, clipping (clipping) or endovascular repair (repair of the injured vessel) is performed. In case the aneurysm has ruptured, immediate treatment is necessary, which may include hospitalization in the ICU, absolute rest, cerebral ventricular drainage, drugs and medications.