Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
Brain aneurysms are most often detected after they've ruptured and become medical emergencies. However, a brain aneurysm may be detected when you've undergone head-imaging tests for another condition.
If such test results indicate you have a brain aneurysm, you'll need to discuss the results with a specialist in brain and nervous system disorders (neurologist or neurosurgeon).
To make the best use of your time with your doctor, you may want to prepare a list of questions, such as:
- What do you know about the size and location of the aneurysm?
- Do the imaging test results provide evidence of how likely it is to rupture?
- What treatment do you recommend at this time?
- If we wait, how often will I need to have follow-up tests?
- What steps can I take to lower the risk of an aneurysm rupturing?
Your neurologist or neurosurgeon may ask you the following questions to help determine the best course of action:
- Do you smoke?
- How much do you drink?
- Do you use recreational drugs?
- Are you being treated for high blood pressure, high cholesterol or other conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease?
- Do you take your medications as prescribed by your doctor?
- Is there a history of brain aneurysms in your family?
- Cerebral aneurysm fact sheet. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/cerebral_aneurysm/detail_cerebral_aneurysm.htm. Accessed Feb. 28, 2011.
- Singer RJ, et al. Treatment of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 18, 2011.
- Cerebral aneurysm. American Association of Neurological Surgeons. http://www.aans.org/Patient%20Information/Conditions%20and%20Treatments/Cerebral%20Aneurysm.aspx. Accessed Feb. 28, 2011.
- Singer RJ, et al. Unruptured intracranial aneurysms. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 18, 2011.
- Westerlaan HE, et al. Intracranial aneurysms in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage: CT angiography as a primary examination tool for diagnosis - a systematic review and meta-analysis. Radiology. 2011;258:134.
- Naggara ON, et al. Endovascular treatment of intracranial unruptured aneurysms: Systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature on safety and efficacy. Radiology. 2010;256:887.
- Hacein-Bey L, et al. Current imaging assessment and treatment of intracranial aneurysms. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2011;196:32.