Which clinical history is characteristic of cerebral aneurysms?

Updated: Dec 06, 2018
  • Author: David S Liebeskind, MD, FAAN, FAHA, FANA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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The clinical presentation of cerebral aneurysms includes symptoms associated with major aneurysmal rupture (eg, SAH), minor aneurysmal hemorrhage (eg, warning leak or sentinel bleed), nonhemorrhagic manifestations (eg, mass effects or cerebral ischemia), and asymptomatic scenarios (eg, incidental aneurysm detection or identification through screening [4] ).

Although aneurysmal SAH has characteristic historical features, the constellation of symptoms may vary with location, size, shape, and direction of the aneurysm.

Aneurysmal rupture also may present with intraparenchymal hemorrhage (more common with distal aneurysms), intraventricular hemorrhage (13-28%), or subdural hematoma (2-5%).

Minor aneurysmal hemorrhage may precede rupture with a wide variation in latency, although these warning leaks also may be clinically silent.

Giant aneurysms may compress brain parenchyma, resulting in focal neurological complaints.

Aneurysmal expansion may produce pain or herald new neurological manifestations.

Traumatic aneurysms may have a delayed presentation, with intracranial hemorrhage or recurrent epistaxis.

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