Clinical Overview

Aneurysms occur due to a weakening of the vessel wall which results in a balloon-like enlargement of an artery. Although aneurysms can occur anywhere in the body intracranial aneurysms, also known as cerebral aneurysms, occur in the arteries of the brain.  When the aneurysm continues to grow, there is a risk of rupture or hemorrhage that can lead to stroke, or death if left untreated.

A number of factors can increase the risk of developing a cerebral aneurysm e.g. hypertension (high blood pressure), smoking, family history of brain aneurysm(s), female gender, excessive alcohol consumption, drug use, congenital predisposition, traumatic head injury, etc.

Because of the danger of rupture and the potential for disability that may follow, many physicians believe it is prudent to treat aneurysms prophylacticly.  However, depending on the location of the aneurysm and the medical condition of the patient, the treatment options may be limited.