How do we diagnose a Brain Aneurysm?
Computed tomography, or CT scans, can be used to diagnose ruptured brain aneurysms. CT scanners use a series of x-rays and powerful computers to create 2 and 3-dimensional images of the body, including the brain. A related technique called CT angiography, or CTA, adds contrast dye injected through an IV line to highlight the blood vessels within the brain and neck, which allows radiologists and neurosurgeons to better evaluate aneurysms and blood flow within the brain.
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is another important tool for diagnosing and following brain aneurysms. MRI uses a powerful magnetic field to produce images of the brain. MRI does not use or produce radiation and therefore is not associated with radiation risks or effects. A special form of MRI known as MR angiography, or MRA, is often used to diagnose or follow known brain aneurysms and allows physicians to better evaluate the arteries within the brain.
Cerebral angiography is the gold standard for the diagnosis of brain aneurysms and is often used in the treatment process. In angiography, a special dye is injected through an IV line, and x-rays of the brain are taken at multiple angles in order to see precise detail of the arteries within the patient’s brain. Angiography is usually performed by a specially trained neuroradiologist or neurosurgeon.