St. Joseph Hospital of Orange
1100 West Stewart Dr, Orange, CA 92868714.633.9111
About Us News Room Careers Contact Us
Find St. Joseph Hospital Services Our Doctors Our Services For Patients For Visitors For Community
Heart and Vascular Center
About Us
Outcomes
Clinical Trials and Research Program
How to Contact Us
Our Achievements
Our Experts
Our Facilities
Patient Testimonials
Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Bacterial Endocarditis
Diagnosis
Patient and Family Resources
Patient Testimonial
Specific Congenital Cardiovascular Defects
Symptoms
Treatment
Cardiac Receiving Center
Clinical Trials and Research Program
The Center for Heart and Vascular Wellness and Prevention
About Us
Our Experts
The Dick Butkus Heart and Vascular Screening Program
The Women's Heart Center
Cardiac Rehabilitation
Diagnostic Services
Angiogram
Cardiovascular CT
Cardiac Catheterization
Cardiac MRI
Echocardiogram
Stress Test / Treadmill
Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
Electrophysiology Test (EP)
Endomyocardial Biopsy
Holter Monitor
Nuclear Studies
Pacemaker Interrogation
Tilt Table
Heart and Vascular Diseases
Arrhythmia
Aneurysm
Angina
Atrial Fibrillation
Cardiomyopathy
Chest Pain
Claudication
Congenital Heart Disease
Coronary Artery Disease
Diabetes
Endocarditis
Hypertension
Heart Attack
Heart Disease Risk Factors
Heart Failure
Rheumatic Heart Disease
Sinus Bradycardia
Ventricular Tachycardia
Heart Failure Program
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Patient and Family Resources
Diagnosis
Treatment
Interventional Radiology
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Patient and Family Resources
Interventional Radiology Procedures
Aortic Aneurysms
Carotid Artery Stenosis
Cerebral Artery Aneurysm
Chemoembolization for Liver Tumor
Deep Vein Thrombosis (Thrombolysis)
Peripheral Artery Disease
Stroke
Uterine Fibroid Emolization
Open Heart Surgery
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Patient and Family Resources
Specific Cardiac Defects
Diagnosis
Preparing for Surgery
The Day of Surgery
Activity after Surgery
Preparing for Home - Discharge Teaching
Pacemaker Center
FAQs
Screening Programs
Valve Heart Center
Our Experts
Our Outcomes
Specific Cardiac Defects
Diagnosis
Treatment
Vascular Care
Our Experts
Our Screening Program
Specific Vascular Defects
Glossary of Terms
Women's Heart Center
About the Women's Heart Center
Our Experts
Risk Factors for Women
EBCT
Screening Program

Share this page:

Facebook
Twitter
Google +

Cerebral Artery Aneurysm

A cerebral aneurysm is an abnormally dilated segment of a blood vessel. In some cases, the entire blood vessel widens and expands to resemble a balloon-like structure. The exact cause of many cerebral aneurysms is not clear and they can occur in patients of any age, including some which may occur as a congenital (“you are born with it”) defect in the lining of the blood vessels, which result in a continued enlargement of the aneurysm over time.

Risk Factors

Several factors can cause weakening of the blood vessel wall, including trauma, brain tumor and arteriovenous malformation (abnormal blood vessel development) from birth. Factors which have been shown to increase the risk of aneurysm rupture include smoking, high blood pressure, excessive alcohol consumption and atherosclerosis.

Symptoms

Occasionally an enlarging aneurysm can cause symptoms such as visual changes, seizures, facial pain and headache, due to the compression of the aneurysm on surrounding brain structures. CT or MRI imaging can be used to help diagnose a cerebral aneurysm as well as definitive diagnosis by a cerebral angiogram dye study, in the Interventional Radiology department. Unfortunately, the rupture of a cerebral aneurysm is usually sudden and occurs without warning. Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Severe headache with nausea or vomiting
  • Numbness or decreased sensation in any part of the body
  • Blurred vision
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Seizure
  • Extreme lethargy

Once an aneurysm ruptures, blood accumulates in the brain and can compress and damage surrounding tissue. The tissue injury can also cause a spasm in the vessel, resulting in constriction and decreased blood flow to the surrounding brain area. The effect of a ruptured cerebral aneurysm can be serious neurological impairment or death. Early treatment of a ruptured or “leaking” cerebral aneurysm will follow the patient care model for “acute hemorrhagic stroke” including evaluation by the Emergency Response System (paramedics), Emergency Room evaluation and Neurosurgery consultation, rapid CT scan and prompt Interventional Radiology treatment as indicated.

Treatment

Early identification of a cerebral aneurysm and treatment is the goal to prevent further “expansion” of the aneurysm and potential rupture. The final goal of the treatment is to remove or cut off the blood supply to the cerebral aneurysm. In collaboration with neurosurgery, a decision will be made to consider surgical intervention and or Interventional Radiological-assisted treatment options by embolization (blocking off the artery by placing small coils or particulate “glue-like” matter) through a catheter placed into the cerebral artery, which is feeding blood supply to the aneurysm.

Often a combination of the two therapies is used, pre-surgical embolization to decrease the blood flow and surgical intervention to “clip” the cerebral artery aneurysm. Certain brain tumors are also treated in collaboration with our neurosurgery physician staff. This includes a pre-surgical Interventional Radiology embolization of the cerebral artery that feeds the brain tumor and subsequent surgical removal of the brain tumor mass, to decrease the risk of surgical intracranial bleeding. The procedure is most commonly performed in the Interventional Radiology department using general anesthesia, but has been performed with intravenous sedation, depending on the anatomical location of the aneurysm and neurological status of the patient.

Outcomes

Patients will have follow-up cerebral angiograms at six months and 1-year post-embolization and are followed by their neurosurgeon/neurologist/primary care physician for any changes in neurological status.