What causes cerebral aneurysms in coarctation of the aorta (CoA)?

Updated: Nov 20, 2018
  • Author: Syamasundar Rao Patnana, MD; Chief Editor: Stuart Berger, MD  more...
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Answer

Berry aneurysms of the circle of Willis or other vessels are believed to occur in as many as 10% of patients with coarctation of the aorta and may be multiple. Aneurysm size tends to increase with age, as does the risk of rupture. Uncontrolled hypertension promotes the growth of the aneurysms and increases risk of rupture. Most patients are asymptomatic until rupture occurs, although some aneurysms may leak prior to rupture, resulting in warning symptoms of headache, photophobia, weakness, or other symptoms. Rupture of a cerebral aneurysm is associated with high mortality rates and should prompt repair of both the aneurysm and coarctation.


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