What is a cerebral aneurysm?
A cerebral aneurysm can best be described as a balloon-like sac that arises from the wall of an arterial blood vessel supplying the brain. There are four types of aneurysms, and they can all vary in severity. They include:
- Saccular: This is the most common type of aneurysm. They occur at sites where the vessel wall is weakened by stress, typically at a point where the artery forms branches to supply the brain. This type of aneurysm affects about 3% of the adult population and becomes more frequent with age.
- Dissecting: This is the second most common type of aneurysm, and can occur at any age. Artery walls are composed of multiple overlapping layers — a dissecting aneurysm occurs when the inner layers are damaged allowing blood to enter into outer layers.
- Mycotic: These aneurysms are a result of localized infection in the arterial wall. The infection leads to damage of the wall, which we often associate with infections of the heart valves, such as bacterial endocarditis.
- Pseudoaneurysm: This type of aneurysm is caused by trauma to the head that results in direct damage, and weakening of the arterial wall.
How experienced is the Barrow team in treating aneurysms?
Barrow is one of the largest referral centers in the United States for patients with cerebrovascular disorders, treating more than 200 aneurysms per year and more than 200 arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) and cavernous malformations per year. We are frequently looked to as the worldwide center of choice when it comes to complex aneurysm treatment.
What are the most common types of treatments for aneurysms?
There are multiple approaches to consider for the treatment of aneurysms. Depending on the size and location of the aneurysm, procedures may include microsurgery for clipping of the aneurysm neck, endovascular coiling, or stenting for obliteration of the aneurysm dome, or a combination of microsurgical and endovascular procedures.