Cerebral Aneurism:

How Do You Know If You Have One?

A Cerebral Aneurism May or May Not Be Accompanied by Symptoms

Unfortunately as serious as a cerebral aneurism can be it may not always be accompanied by symptoms. In fact prior to rupture most brain (cerebral)aneurisms produce few if any symptoms.

There are some exceptions however. For more details on symptoms that might accompany a brain aneurism please return to the main aneurism page and follow the links.

As a general rule symptoms don’t become obvious until the aneurism is a serious risk… perhaps even life-threatening. It is important, therefore, to detect a cerebral aneurism before it reaches this stage.

If symptoms do not normally present themselves until the problem is severe then how can I know if I have a brain aneurism? Unfortunately the only sound advice to follow is: see your doctor.

Brain Aneurism Detection

If you suspect that you may have a cerebral aneurism, either because some symptoms do appear or age and family history place you in a high-risk category, talk to your doctor. There are several detection methods that can be used.

X-ray angiography is a process whereby pictures are produced showing the inside of blood vessels. It is considered by many to be the only definitive means of demonstrating the presence of an intracerebral aneurism.

Computed axial tomography (or CAT scan) involves x-rays and computers to produce a cross-sectional image of the brain. It can confirm the presence of blood within the brain or the subarachnoid space around the brain in the event that an aneurism has ruptured.

Ultrasound - uses high-frequency sound waves (instead of x-rays) that are transmitted through body tissues. The recorded echoes from the sound waves are transformed into video or photographic images.

Lumbar puncture (or spinal tap) is sometimes used to discover the presence of blood in the cerebrospinal fluid. Spinal fluid is extracted from the spinal cavity with a needle. It is often used if the results of a CAT scan are indeterminate. 

MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is a non-invasive method using a large magnet, radio waves and a computer to produce clear pictures of the body. Like the ultrasound it does not use x-ray technology.

It would be great if there were a simple test we could take at home to determine the presence of a cerebral aneurism. But there isn’t. The fact is, even with high-tech equipment brain aneurisms can be difficult to detect.

If you suspect you have an aneurism talk to your doctor. Sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you.

Whether or not you believe you are at risk for developing a brain aneurism, take every opportunity for prevention. There are two very important things you can do.

The first is to keep your blood pressure down. The second is to reduce atherosclerosis build-up. You can read more about each of these preventive steps by returning to the main aneurism page and following the links. 


Return from "Cerebral Aneurism Detection" page to the "Main Aneurisms" page.

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