Aneurysm is a dilation of a cerebral artery. The dimensions can vary from a few millimeters up to lesions, called “giants”, with diameters greater than 2.5 cm. The aneurysm can affect any cerebral artery even if with a different frequency and sometimes symptoms.
What are broken aneurysms?
In addition to size and location, aneurysms can be divided into two large families: broken aneurysms and non-broken aneurysms. Broken aneurysms are those that cause subarachnoid hemorrhage. The clinical picture of the patient varies from a simple headache to a state of coma.The subarachnoid hemorrhage, which occurs following the rupture of an aneurysm or any brain malformation, consists in a shedding of blood at the level of the subarachnoid spaces. The brain appears to be “painted with blood”.
The incidence of the disease is 10 cases per 100,000 people with mortality or serious health conditions in 60% of cases. These data are indicative of a serious, complex disease with important family and social impact. A third of patients do not arrive in hospital for sudden death.
What are the causes of broken aneurysms?
About 4-5% of the population has aneurysms, but only a minimal amount of these will give a sign of themselves. The aneurysm is frequently localized in the bifurcation of the cerebral vessels, a sign that the cause is often embryological. Once formed, its natural history is variable. Important co-factors are: arterial hypertension, smoking, multiple aneurysms and connective tissue diseases.
What are the symptoms of broken aneurysms?
In case of broken aneurysms with hemorrhage, the aneurysm becomes evident after bleeding. The most common symptom is characterized by an important headache often with nuchal irradiation; this headache is described as sudden. Confusional state, photophobia, cranial nerve disturbances (ocular motility disorders) are often associated with it. Sometimes there is also an intraparenchymal hematoma with consequent motor disorders. Coma patients are frequent.