What are the dangers of an aneurysm?

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Aneurysms may burst and bleed into the brain, causing serious complications, including hemorrhagic stroke, permanent nerve damage, or death. Once it has burst, the aneurysm may bleed into the brain, and cause additional aneurysms to occur. More commonly, a ruptured aneurysm may cause a subarachnoid hemorrhage - bleeding into the space between the skull bone and the brain. A delayed but serious complication of subarachnoid hemorrhage is hydrocephalus, in which the excessive buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the skull dilates fluid pathways called ventricles that can swell and press on the brain tissue. Another delayed post rupture complication is vasospasm, in which other blood vessels in the brain contract and limit blood flow to vital areas of the brain. This reduced blood flow can cause stroke or tissue damage.
This answer from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has been reviewed and/or edited by Dr. William D. Knopf.

Continue Learning about Aneurysms

Aneurysms

Aneurysms form balloons in weakened arteries of our bodies, potentially causing life-threatening problems such as a stroke. Although aneurysms can form in any weakened artery, they commonly occur in the arteries of the brain and i...

n the aorta, the central artery that extends from your heart through the center of your abdomen and chest. Certain medical conditions, such as high blood pressure, can weaken the arteries, which deliver oxygenated blood from our heart to the rest of our bodies. The pressure of blood traveling through the arteries can lead to this balloon-like bulge. You can have an aneurysm for years without symptoms or problems. Others can have an aneurysm that pops, which can lead to a stroke if bleeding occurs in the brain. Ruptured aneurysms must be treated quickly, usually within minutes, or it can become deadly: about 50% of all ruptured aneurysms are fatal.
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