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Cerebral Aneurysm

Cerebral Aneurysm - Diagnosis

How is a ruptured cerebral aneurysm diagnosed?

  • Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan
    When an aneurysm ruptures, bleeding usually occurs in the subarachnoid space of the brain resulting in a subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). This is best diagnosed with a CT scan of the brain. This can be performed in minutes and is the investigation of choice. The location of subarachnoid blood on a CT scan can provide useful information on the location of an aneurysm and the neurological deficits caused.
  • Cerebral Angiography
    Cerebral angiography is a special x-ray procedure that provides a series of pictures of the blood vessels in the head and neck. Cerebral angiography identifies the size, configuration and exact location of an aneurysm. This procedure is performed before surgery, and often a few days after surgery, to evaluate the placement of an aneurysm clip. Cerebral angiography involves inserting a small flexible tube, called a catheter, into an artery, usually in the groin. The catheter is moved through the artery to the large blood vessels just above the heart. After the catheter is in place, a dye is injected and this is carried in the blood to the arteries in the brain. A number of x-ray pictures are then taken, thereby outlining or mapping the arteries in the brain.
  • Computed Tomography Angiography (CTA)
    This is a non-invasive method, utilising CT technology, of outlining the arteries in the brain. While the gold-standard of looking for an aneurysm remains cerebral angiography, CTA is gaining popularity today.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
    MRI is a computerised method of viewing the brain in three-dimensions by using a strong magnetic field instead of x-rays to obtain the pictures. MRI produces more detailed images of the brain and soft tissues than CT regular x-rays. This investigation is sometimes used to supplement a CT scan.

    MRA is another non-invasive investigation, utilising MR technology, to map out the arteries in the brain. With a good quality MRI machine, a high resolution of these arteries can be obtained. MRI’s however, take a longer time to perform compared to a CT scan.

Cerebral Aneurysm - Preparing for surgery

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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