Brain aneurysms are most often detected after they've ruptured and become medical emergencies. However, a brain aneurysm may be detected when you've undergone head-imaging tests for another condition.
If such test results indicate you have a brain aneurysm, you'll need to discuss the results with a specialist in brain and nervous system disorders (neurologist or neurosurgeon).
To make the best use of your time with your doctor, you may want to prepare a list of questions, such as:
- What do you know about the size and location of the aneurysm?
- Do the imaging test results provide evidence of how likely it is to rupture?
- What treatment do you recommend at this time?
- If we wait, how often will I need to have follow-up tests?
- What steps can I take to lower the risk of an aneurysm rupturing?
Your neurologist or neurosurgeon may ask you the following questions to help determine the best course of action:
May 23, 2014
- Do you smoke?
- How much do you drink?
- Do you use recreational drugs?
- Are you being treated for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?
- Do you take your medications as prescribed by your doctor?
- Is there a history of brain aneurysms in your family?
- 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.