BRAIN ANEURYSM


WHAT IS A BRAIN ANEURYSM?


Brain aneurysms, also known as iIntracranial aneurysms (IA) are usually pouch-like formations at bifurcations of intracranial arteries. These kinds of aneurysms are called saccular. In rare cases the IA is a dilatation of the intracranial artery and is therefore called fusiform. Aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) occurs when an intracranial aneurysm is ruptured and the blood rapidly flows into the subarachnoid space. The bleeding is life threatening.

INTRACRANIAL ANEURYSMS – MAJOR IMPACT ON PUBLIC HEALTH

Intracranial aneurysm is saccular in a 98% of cases and usually forms at the branches of the intracranial blood vessels. Multiple aneurysms are found in about one third of the patients with IAs. The overall prevalence of IAs is 3.2%, and the prevalence is higher for females. Smoking, hypertension and genetic factors increase the prevalence. Mean age is 55 years.

Although the prevalence of IAs is at the same level in the different nations, incidence of the aSAH is has historically been significantly higher in Finland and Japan, reaching as high as 20 cases per 100 000 persons per year. In other populations, the incidence is 6–10 cases per 100 000/year. After bleeding, the mortality rate increasesThe bleeding is fatal in up to 50% of the victims even with prompt aneurysm closure and rigorous neurocritical care. The primary aim of treating IAs is to prevent rebleeding by isolating the IAs from the arterial circulation while preserving the blood flow in the parent artery and arterial branches.

WHO HAS A BRAIN ANEURYSM AND WILL IT RUPTURE?


Unruptured aneurysms are found either incidentally or in the screening for a familial background of aneurysms. As mentioned, the overall prevalence of IAs is 3.2%. It means that in Finland alone, there are nearly 200 000 people carrying an unruptured aneurysm. The ability to predict the rupture of the unruptured aneurysm would be the most effective way to evaluate the need of care. Unfortunately, a lack of precise biomarkers is a current fact. Fortunately, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for characterizing the rupture risk of unruptrured IAs are under development.

FOR WHAT KIND OF RESEARCH PETRI HONKANEN FOUNDATION IS SUPPORTING?


The mechanism of IA rupture is mainly obscure. Petri Honkanen foundation supports research that tries to develop new strategies to evaluate the rupture risk of IAs and treatments for subarachnoid hemorrhage.