-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- Brain aneurysms of all sizes
are 12 times more likely to rupture if they are growing, a new
A brain (cerebral) aneurysm occurs when a blood vessel in the
brain weakens and balloons out. If it bursts, it causes a bleeding
(hemorrhagic) stroke that can lead to brain damage or death.
The study included 132 women and 33 men with a total of 258
brain aneurysms that were monitored for a number of years. The
patients' brains were scanned using noninvasive CT angiography
every six or 12 months.
Over the study period, growth occurred in 46 (18 percent) of the
aneurysms in 38 patients. Three of the growing aneurysms ruptured
and all three were small (less than 7 millimeters, or about
one-fifth of an inch) at the start of the study.
The 46 growing aneurysms in the study were 12 times more likely
to rupture than those that stayed the same size, according to the
researchers. They calculated the risk of rupture for growing
aneurysms at 2.4 percent per patient-year, compared with 0.2
percent for aneurysms that stayed the same size.
The researchers also found that smoking and the initial size of
the aneurysm were independent predictors of aneurysm growth,
according to the study appearing online July 2 in the journal
"Given what a devastating event a ruptured brain aneurysm is, we are very motivated to identify the real risk factors for rupture," lead author Dr. J. Pablo Villablanca, chief of diagnostic neuroradiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, said in a journal news release.
Villablanca said the study findings show the need to perform
follow-up imaging of patients to monitor for possible growth in
aneurysms, even small ones.
The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
has more about
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