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Brain aneurysms show no symptoms but can be fatal

Update: July, 24/2019 - 08:59
A patient who suffered from a brain aneurysm recovered after surgery at HCM City's Chợ Rẫy Hospital. — Photo 

HÀ NỘI — Patients suffering from brain aneurysms mostly experience no symptoms, but half will experience their aneurysms rupturing and bleeding within two years, leading to death if not treated, doctors have warned.

Huỳnh Lê Phương, head of the neurosurgery department at HCM City’s Chợ Rẫy Hospital told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper that the majority of patients with brain aneurysms presented no symptoms until one of the aneurysms ruptured.

A cerebral aneurysm was considered a ‘time bomb’ for many patients, she added.

Phương said cerebral aneurysms developed as a result of thinning artery walls. They occur when a segment of the vessel becomes weakened and expanded.

The pressure of blood through the vessel creates abnormal expansion, or a bulge, at the weak point of the vessel.

The higher the pressure, the more the aneurysm grows, posing risks of internal bleeding when it ruptures, she said.

Phương said each part of the brain controls different functions and activities of organs in the body. As a result, the bulge of the aneurysm compressed the surrounding brain structure, affecting the function of the brain.

This could be a sign of the condition.

On April 30, Quan Thị Thúy N, a patient in southern Đồng Nai Province, was taken to hospital after having sudden and severe headaches and falling into a coma.

After screening, the patient was found to have a bulge in the brain measuring 25 millimetres. 

Previously, she suffered from severe headaches and was diagnosed with a vestibular disorder.

The patient was at high risk of having the aneurysm rupture, threatening her life. 

She underwent three surgeries and was in stable condition.

T.M, another patient in HCM City, came to the hospital for an eye examination after experiencing a sudden droopy eyelid. After screening, she was found to have an aneurysm on the brain. The aneurysm pressed on nerves in the brain, causing the droopy eyelid.

PhD Trần Minh Trí, a doctor from the hospital’s neurosurgery department said half of patients with brain aneurysms would experience a rupture. 

Some common symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm included severe headaches, nausea, a stiff neck, loss of consciousness, blurred or double vision, a drooping eyelid, and sensitivity to light.

Trí said those who consumed too much alcohol, smoked cigarettes, used drugs or had family history of brain aneurysms were at high risk of the condition.  

Patients needed to seek immediate medical treatment if they developed severe headaches over a short period of time – the most common sign of the disease, he added.

According to doctors, there were two common treatment options for a ruptured brain aneurysm in Việt Nam.

Doctors could surgically close off an aneurysm or implement endovascular coiling, which is the insertion of a hollow plastic tube into an artery.

Patients were encouraged to follow healthy lifestyles to prevent brain aneurysms or reduce their development. 

In addition, people over 40 should have cerebrovascular screening regularly as such examinations on cerebral blood vessels could detect aneurysms up to 80 per cent of the time, they said. — VNS



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