Q. Can venous aneurysm cause headache?

Answered by
Dr. J Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
Published on Jun 23, 2016

Hi doctor,

I have a 8 x 12 mm sac type aneurysm on the vein of Galen. I am 50 years old and otherwise in a good health. I have had bad headaches and nausea for about seven months. It led MRV and that found the aneurysm. I know the risks of an arterial aneurysm rupturing, but do venous ones rupture? Is it very unusual for them to do that? My family tends to have a long lifespan. Could I have another 30 or 40 years of life with this? My BP is normal. My current medications include Meloxicam, Claritin, Nexium and Zofran.

Dr. J Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas

Neuro Surgery Neurology Spine Health Spine Surgery


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • This is a very rare anomaly. Dilatation of entire vein is more common.
  • Theoretically, there is a risk of rupture. But, in practice the most common complications are hydrocephalus and cardiac problems.
  • You have not indicated whether the scan revealed hydrocephalus or not. If there is hydrocephalus, then a CSF - cerebrospinal fluid diversionary procedure may be needed. Else this condition does not require any treatment.

For further information consult a neuro surgeon online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neuro-surgeon

Thank you doctor,

I have been having bouts of nausea that are really overwhelming on and off for the last seven months. Could this be caused by the aneurysm growing? I often have a headache at the same time. Please explain.

Dr. J Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas

Neuro Surgery Neurology Spine Health Spine Surgery


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

  • As I have told you, vein of Galen aneurysm can cause headache by hydrocephalus.
  • Any condition which causes increased pressure inside the skull called raised intracranial pressure will manifest with headache and projectile vomiting.
  • By projectile vomiting, we mean that sort of vomiting, which occurs suddenly without any nausea.
  • If you have nausea, it mostly signifies some gastric problem. In your case, the various drugs you are taking can themselves cause nausea.
  • So, I would suggest that you need not worry too much about the aneurysm as long as you do not have hydrocephalus. Please confirm this would have been mentioned in your MRI report. If not, then please share the images with me and I will confirm whether there is hydrocephalus or not.

Revert back with the MRI images to a neuro surgeon online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/neuro-surgeon

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