Migraines and Headaches

Worst Headache Ever? It Could be Brain Aneurysm!!

Written by
Dr. Saurabh Joshi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan

Published on Apr 29, 2014 and last reviewed on Jul 17, 2019   -  1 min read

Abstract

Abstract

A ruptured brain aneurysm is a potentially fatal condition that needs emergency care. This article helps you understand this condition and educates you regarding your treatment options.

Worst Headache Ever? It Could be Brain Aneurysm!!

This is a medical condition in which one of the arteries of the brain develops a weakened area that balloons out, like an inflated balloon. This can burst and result in bleeding within the brain.

What Are the Symptoms of An Aneurysm?

An unruptured aneurysm may not cause any symptoms. Some symptoms related to the pressure of the aneurysm on the adjoining brain tissue like cranial nerve palsies (difficulty to smile, difficulty in moving your eyes, difficulty to express certain facial expressions) headaches, etc., can be present.

Patients generally experience what they describe as the "worst headache of my life," which can be accompanied by some neuro deficit (e.g., loss of coordination) depending on the amount and location of the bleeding.

How Is this Diagnosed?

A CT scan of the brain would be able to identify a Subarachnoid Hemorrhage and raise a suspicion of a ruptured brain aneurysm. A DSA ( Digital Subtraction Angiogram ) is the gold standard for diagnosing an aneurysm.

How Is this Treated?

Traditionally, open brain surgery and clipping of the aneurysm was the only treatment available, but with advancements in medical science, minimally invasive treatment like "Endovascular Coiling" is now possible.

What Is Endovascular Coiling?

This is a minimally invasive treatment of brain aneurysm in which the arterial system is accessed from the groin (femoral artery), and small tubes called catheters are used to reach the aneurysm in the brain. This aneurysm is then filled using thin platinum coils until it no longer fills with blood is excluded from circulation. This procedure is carried out in the Catheterization Lab of a hospital and is done under X-ray guidance by highly trained specialists called Interventional Radiologists.

How Effective Is this Treatment?

Endovascular Coiling of aneurysms has been proven to be as effective as surgical clipping in the treatment of aneurysms.

Is this Treatment Very Costly?

This treatment is expensive as compared to the open surgery, but as it is minimally invasive, there is a shorter ICU stay and a shorter recovery period. This translates into a faster return to productivity.

Last reviewed at:
17 Jul 2019  -  1 min read

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