Cranial Aneurysms

Cranial Aneurysms
What are the symptoms of a Cranial Aneurysm?
What are the non-surgical treatment options?
What are the surgical treatment options?
Recovery After Surgery

What is a Cranial Aneurysm?

A cranial aneurysm, also called cerebral or brain aneurysm, is a disorder in the veins or vascular system of the brain. Cerebral veins or arteries become weak and cause the blood vessels to balloon or dilate.

Aneurysms are often found in the Circle of Willis, which is a group of arteries found at the base of the brain. The majority, about 85%, occurs in the anterior part of this area. They often happen in the parts of cerebrovascular system that provide blood to the anterior and middle sections of the brain, usually with the internal carotid arteries and their main branches.

30-35% of aneurysms are found in the anterior cerebral artery and anterior communicating artery. Another 30-35% are seen in the division between the branches of the internal carotid and posterior communicating artery, while another 20% are seen in the division of the middle cerebral artery, and 5% are found in the other posterior circulation arteries

Congenital defects or head trauma can lead to aneurysms. The more popular cause is high blood pressure and atherosclerosis or the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. This is a greater cause for concern in the midst of the obesity problem in developed countries.

This disorder does not adhere to any age range, but occurs more often in adults. It also favors women with a ratio of 3 to 2. There have been studies delving into the genetics behind aneurysms, since some people may be more predisposed to have them. So far, a number of DNA markers have been identified as areas of concern, which may lead to a definite finding that hereditary factors contribute to cranial aneurysms.

There are different kinds of aneurysms based on size and shape. Those less than 15 mm are considered small, a size of 15 to 25 mm means the aneurysms are large while those found over 50 mm are considered super giants.

The most common shape of aneurysms is saccular; this means it has some saccular outpouching. Some of these saccular aneurysms also have a stem or neck, these are called berry aneurysms. Those without stems are called fusiform aneurysms.