Aneurysms are proof that in many cases an illness can turn into a life or death problem within seconds.. In addition, this clinical picture is sometimes completely silent throughout the patient’s life, without the patient noticing at any time that he is suffering from it. As surprising as it may seem, the overall prevalence of this disease is 2-3% of the general population.
Thousands of internal processes invisible to the human eye occur in our bodies, and although this does not appear to be the case, some of them can be chronically rapidly complicated by certain specific physiological events. This does not mean that you have to live in fear: aneurysms also often betray their presence with certain signs which, if interpreted and treated in time, almost ensure a success rate and a complete recovery of the patient.
But what are we talking about? What is an aneurysm? What is its typology and prognosis? If curiosity is gnawing at you, do not wait any longer, as in the following lines we present to you types of aneurysms, Features and more.
What is an aneurysm?
An aneurysm is defined as enlargement or abnormal pumping of part of an artery due to a certain weakness in the wall of the blood vessel.
Talking about the type of aneurysms is complex, as they can actually occur in any blood vessel. However, the following areas are most likely to present: aortic artery (aortic aneurysm), cerebral vessels (cerebral aneurysm), popliteal artery, mesenteric artery, and splenic artery.
All of the medical information that we are going to show below is of critical importance to understanding the world of aneurysms, but it is of little use if we do not frame it comprehensively. These statistics help us with this:
- The incidence of aneurysms (number of new cases by population and time) varies from 0.4 to 3.6%.
- The prevalence in the general population that is not at risk is 2 to 3%.
- About 6 million people live with a brain aneurysm without their life being in immediate danger.
- Aneurysms usually occur in adults, but can also occur in children.
An enlarged artery doesn’t look like that either, does it? The problem with all of this is, unfortunately, that it can be broken. You can imagine physiological disaster caused by a flood of brain tissue with spilled blood and, therefore, it is not at all shocking to know that 40% of these clinical conditions result in the death of the patient.
Types of aneurysms and their characteristics
As we said, an aneurysm can appear almost anywhere. However, in order to compartmentalize the information that we are going to provide you now, we are going to state two major groups for their clinical and epidemiological importance: cerebral aneurysms and aneurysms of the aorta. Let’s do this.
1. Cerebral aneurysms
First of all, it should be noted that a brain aneurysm and a stroke are not the sameAs sometimes the population tends to use these two terms indistinct. 80% of strokes are ischemic, that is, caused by a blood clot covering a glass in the brain. The remaining 20% is attributed to hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by the rupture of a blood vessel which causes bleeding in the brain.
As you may have guessed, aneurysm can be the cause of hemorrhagic stroke, but not all brain aneurysms lead to stroke, and not all causes of hemorrhagic stroke. are not an aneurysm. It is important to keep this in mind.
It should be noted that, in many cases intact aneurysms do not cause any symptoms in the patient. However, if the widening of the artery compromises a nerve or peripheral tissue, the patient may have the following clinical signs: pain above and behind one eye, dilated pupil, vision changes or double vision, and numbness in one eye. side of the face. 6 million Americans live with brain aneurysms without realizing it.
The thing gets ugly if it’s broken at some point (although it usually isn’t). In these cases, when blood is shed on the brain, the symptoms are much clearer and more worrying: sudden and very intense headaches, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, drooping eyelid, seizures, loss of consciousness, confusion. .. In short, a physiological disaster. 15% of patients with a broken brain aneurysm die before arriving at the hospital and, in general, 40% die even if they are operated on urgently.
It should be noted that there are two subtypes of brain aneurysm. We tell you succinctly in the following lines.
1.1 Sacular aneurysm
It is the most common type of aneurysm, also called a “berry” aneurysm due to its curious morphology. It is presented as 1 protrusion, sac or bump at an intersection of the network of arteries at the base of the brain.
1.2 Fusiform aneurysm
It is a less common type than the previous one. In that case the whole artery widens to the weak area.
2. Aortic aneurysm
Although we change parts of the body, the basis is the same: an artery is enlarged and presents a certain risk of rupture. If the cerebral aneurysms are a little more represented in the consulted medical literature, one cannot leave the aortics behind.
It should be noted that most aneurysms are found in the aorta, the main artery that runs from the heart to the chest and abdomen. In parts of the United States, the prevalence of thoracic aortic aneurysm in 10.4 patients per 100,000 population-years is estimated. It is necessary to do an early excision because, unlike cerebral aneurysms, aortics are quite different depending on their location. We explain the two main types to you.
2.1 Thoracic aortic aneurysm
A thoracic aortic aneurysm is a protrusion or abnormal swelling of the part of the aorta that passes through the chest. The most common cause is atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), although there are other risk factors. such as age, genetic diseases, syphilis, or chest injuries from falls and other trauma.
The patient has no symptoms until the aneurysm ruptures and begins to filter blood to nearby tissues or the artery has dilated too much. Symptoms in these cases include hoarseness, swallowing problems, back pain, sharp breathing, swelling of the neck, pain in the upper chest, wet skin, nausea, vomiting, etc.
It should be noted that the survival rate of patients with large aortic aneurysms is 65% at one year and 20% at 5 years. Rupture of these aneurysms leads to mortality in 97% of casesThis is why we can say that we are faced with an even worse clinical picture if possible than that of the brain.
2.2 Abdominal aortic aneurysm
As you can imagine, there is little difference between this type and the previous one. A thoracic aortic aneurysm occurs when the aorta widens in its stretch across the chest, while an abdominal aortic aneurysm this happens when the part of the aorta that crosses the abdomen widens. So simple.
The principle is the same as in previous cases: intact aneurysms are usually silent (although the abdominals can be identified as palpable masses in some cases) and the real problem arises when they rupture. Symptoms, as you can imagine, are almost the same systemically, only the pain tends to focus more on the area. patient’s abdomen.
As we have gathered in these lines, today we present to you a family of pathologies that are not nothing. While “a lot” of people have brain aneurysms and never realize it, a small percentage can have an affected artery ruptured and in this case things get complicated very, very quickly.
Both variants are extremely fatal, although (looking only at the statistics) it appears that the thoracic aneurysm is the most serious of them all. Not much can be done in the face of these clinical pictures, as most are presented in silence: we will all die one day, so better not to worry too much about pathologies that we cannot detect with tangible symptoms.
- What is a brain aneurysm? UIhealth. Retrieved from: https://hospital.uillinois.edu/es/primary-and-specialty-care/neurologia-y-neurocirugia/condiciones-neurologicas-que-tratamos/aneurisma-cerebral/que-es-un-aneurisma-cerebral
- Aneurysm, medlineplus.gov. Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/001122.htm#:~:text=Los%20defectos%20en%20algunas%20de,El%20cerebro%20(aneurisma%20cerebral)
- Aortic aneurysm, medlineplus.gov. Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/aorticaneurysm.html
- Brain aneurysm, mayoclinic.org. Retrieved from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/es-es/diseases-conditions/brain-aneurysm/symptoms-causes/syc-20361483
- Aneurysm in the Brain, medlineplus.gov. Retrieved from: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/ency/article/001414.htm