A brain aneurysm is a ballooned blood vessel in the brain that often occurs due to weakened vessel wall, and therefore, runs the risk of rupturing in the brain causing—hemorrhagic stroke. 90 percent of the aneurysms are called ‘berry’ aneurysms, and are saccular type; an aneurysm that causes the artery to bulge all around is a fusiform aneurysm, while a dissecting aneurysm is a tear in the artery’s linings. The most common site for a ruptured brain aneurysm is the space between the brain tissue and the coverings surrounding it—called subarachnoid space.
In case brain aneurysm ruptures, prompt medical help of top neurosurgeon in Karachi is needed since it’s a life threatening situation.
Unruptured brain aneurysm
Small, unruptured brain aneurysms have no symptoms. Often, these are found accidently when some other investigations are done for other health conditions.
If an unruptured aneurysm becomes large, it can compress the surrounding nerves and tissues. The following symptoms can be experienced in this scenario: blurred vision, pain above or behind one eye, drooping eyelid, difficulty speaking, loss of balance, dilated pupil, weakness or numbness on one side of the face. Rarely, chronic headaches occur due to brain aneurysms, as can difficulty concentrating or problems with short-term memory.
If any of these symptoms are experienced, go for a complete checkup in case treatment becomes necessary.
Ruptured brain aneurysm
Ruptured aneurysms can have life-threatening consequences; therefore, prompt treatment should be sought. Symptoms begin with an agonizing headache when an aneurysm ruptures, most often described as ‘worst headache of life’. Additional symptoms include feeling sick, sudden onset of confusion, weakness in one side of the body or the face, blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light, and even seizures. In severe cases, patient may lose consciousness.
Diagnosis and treatment
The diagnosis of brain aneurysm is dependent on imaging techniques:
CT Scan: a computed tomography (CT) is necessary to rule in or rule out a brain hemorrhage. It creates an x-ray of the brain and is a non-invasive procedure.
MRI Scan: is an imaging test based on radio waves that creates an image of the brain using the magnetic field.
Cerebral angiography: uses a dye that’s injected into the blood vessels. The pathway of this dye is then used to find blockages or ballooning in the vessels.
Cerebrospinal fluid analysis (CSF analysis): a spinal tap is done to remove some fluid surrounding the brain tissue, and its then analyzed to detect blood.
Treatment of brain aneurysm
The treatment and management of a brain aneurysm depends on factors like the size and location of aneurysm.
Along with medical treatment, lifestyle changes are also necessary to manage the aneurysm. Smoking cessation, mild exercise, control of blood pressure and high cholesterol are some helpful measures.
The idea is to reduce the blood supply of the aneurysm so it is less likely to bleed. Techniques like microsurgical clipping, flow diversion, intrasaccular flow diversion, platinum coil are used for treatment. The perfect treatment can only be devised by the best neurosurgeon in Karachi.