When a brain aneurysm ruptures, the bleeding usually lasts only a few seconds. The blood can cause direct damage to surrounding cells, and the bleeding can damage or kill other cells. It also increases pressure inside the skull.
If the pressure becomes too elevated, the blood and oxygen supply to the brain may be disrupted to the point that loss of consciousness or even death may occur.
Complications that can develop after the rupture of an aneurysm include:
May 23, 2014
- Re-bleeding. An aneurysm that has ruptured or leaked is at risk of bleeding again. Re-bleeding can cause further damage to brain cells.
- Vasospasm. After a brain aneurysm ruptures, blood vessels in your brain may narrow erratically (vasospasm). This condition can limit blood flow to brain cells (ischemic stroke) and cause additional cell damage and loss.
Hydrocephalus. When an aneurysm rupture results in bleeding in the space between the brain and surrounding tissue (subarachnoid hemorrhage) — most often the case — the blood can block circulation of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord (cerebrospinal fluid).
This condition can result in an excess of cerebrospinal fluid that increases pressure on the brain and can damage tissues (hydrocephalus).
Hyponatremia. Subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured brain aneurysm can disrupt the balance of sodium in the blood supply. This may occur from damage to the hypothalamus, an area near the base of the brain.
A drop in blood sodium levels (hyponatremia) can lead to swelling of brain cells and permanent damage.
- Williams LN, et al. Management of unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Neurology Clinical Practice. 2013;3:99.
- Meyers PM, et al. Indications for the performance of intracranial endovascular neurointerventional procedures: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association Council on Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention, Stroke Council, Council on Cardiovascular Surgery and Anesthesia, Interdisciplinary Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Interdisciplinary Council on Quality of Care and Outcomes Research. Circulation. 2009;119:2235.
- Cerebral aneurysm fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_aneurysm/detail_cerebral_aneurysm.htm. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Cerebral aneurysm. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Cerebral%20Aneurysm.aspx. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Daroff RB, et al. Bradley's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Singer RJ, et al. Unruptured intracranial aneurysms. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 4, 2014.
- Raper DM, et al. Seizures after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage: A systematic review of outcomes. World Neurosurgery. 2013;79:682.
- Brown RD (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 9, 2014.
- Brown RD, et al. Screening for brain aneurysm in the Familial Intracranial Aneurysm study: Frequency and predictors of lesion detection. Journal of Neurosurgery. 2008;108:1132.
- Hasan DM, et al. Aspirin as a promising agent for decreasing incidence of cerebral aneurysm. Stroke. 2011;42:3156.
- Lanzino G (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 18, 2014.
- Brinjikji W, et al. Endovascular treatment of intracranial aneurysms with flow diverters: A meta-analysis. Stroke. 2013;44:442.
- Brinjikji W, et al. Estimating the proportion of intracranial aneurysms likely to be amenable to treatment with the pipeline embolization device. Journal of Neurointerventional Surgery. 2013;5:45.
- Stryker Neurovascular. Safety and Effectiveness of an Intracranial Aneurysm Embolization System for Treating Large or Giant Wide Neck Aneurysms (SCENT). ClinicalTrials.gov. http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01716117?term=aneurysm&rank=1. Accessed March 20, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.