A brain aneurysm, also known as an intracranial or cerebral aneurysm, is an abnormal sac or tiny balloon on a blood vessel to the brain. Aneurysms can rupture and bleed into the area between the brain and the surrounding membrane, leading to stroke and death. An estimated 2 percent of Americans, approximately 6 million people, have brain aneurysms. These aneurysms rupture in about 25,000 people each year.
“This study provides us with very useful information that will allow us to better guide our patients with unruptured aneurysms regarding the risk of aneurysm rupture during a very long period of follow-up,” says Robert Brown, M.D., a Mayo Clinic neurologist and the study’s lead investigator.
This study was part of the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms, which includes 4,059 patients with unruptured brain aneurysms at 61 different medical centers in North America and Europe. These patients have been followed for an average of more than nine years.
Dr. Brown and his team found that rupture risk was somewhat higher among patients with aneurysms in the back of the brain or in the posterior communicating artery, also in the back of the brain, compared to those in the front of the brain. Additionally, patients whose aneurysms were more than 13 millimeters (mm) in diameter were at least twice as likely to experience rupture, compared to those whose aneurysms were 7–12 mm in diameter.
This study was presented at the 6th World Stroke Congress meeting in Vienna, Austria, on Sept. 25, 2008.
Below also is the URL for the YouTube version of the video. Because of the embargo, it is currently “private” status, but when the embargo lifts it will become public and you will be able to embed the YouTube player within your blog or other Web site.