Unruptured Brain Aneurysms

Not all brain aneurysms rupture. Doctors are now able to detect unruptured brain aneurysms with an increased frequency because of the growing availability of non-invasive imaging methods such as MRI/MRA. An unruptured brain aneurysm may or may not cause symptoms. As opposed to ruptured aneurysms which require urgent treatment in almost all cases, unruptured aneurysms may require treatment or may be followed with serial imaging studies in some cases. Things doctors consider in deciding whether or not to treat an unruptured aneurysm:

  • Risk of hemorrhage — Is it probable or not that the aneurysm will rupture?
  • Size and location
  • Age and health of patient
  • Family history — Is there a family history? Have any of those aneurysms ruptured?
  • Surgical/endovascular risks
  • Patient preference 

Like ruptured aneurysms, unruptured aneurysms may be treated with either endovascular coiling or open surgical clipping. However, if the unruptured aneurysm is treated successfully, the recovery period is generally shorter than that following treatment of a ruptured aneurysm. Although, survivors of unruptured brain aneurysm treatment may suffer many of the same physical and emotional symptoms as a survivor of a rupture, they will have a shorter hospital stay, require less rehabilitative therapy, and return to work more quickly.