imaging of a brain aneurysm

Our goal is to provide a complete range of services for the diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients with brain aneurysm, whether they have ruptured or not. We inform each patient and their families about the aneurysm, the natural course of a brain aneurysm over a person's lifetime, and what the possibilities are for treatment (medical management, endovascular repair, endovascular flow diversion, surgical repair). We strive to achieve the safest clinical outcomes for every patient.

Stroke Surgeons

A brain aneurysm, also called a cerebral or intracranial aneurysm, is an abnormal bulging outward of one of the arteries in the brain. This may be due to a weakness or injury to one or more of the three layers of tissue in the vessel wall. Most patients with a brain aneurysm do not have symptoms, or are accidentally known to have a brain aneurysm because of a brain scan performed for other reasons not related to the aneurysm.

The risk of rupture of a brain aneurysm is thought to be very low; approximately less than 1%/year. It is estimated that more than 30,000 people experience cerebral aneurysm ruptures in the United States each year. The presentation of aneurysm rupture often occurs with a severe headache that comes on suddenly. Most people claim that it is "the worse headache of my life." Nausea, vomiting or loss of consciousness may be associated symptoms with the aneurysm rupture. Ten percent of these patients die before receiving medical attention; half die 3 months after the rupture event. One out of two patients who survive a ruptured aneurysm experience serious neurological or psychological problems.

View treatment protocol and guidelines for aneurysm coiling used by BMC Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center.

For more information, please call 617.638.8456.

Patient Stories

Wildine Despeignes
Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)

On September 11, 2017, Wildine was at the gym when she suddenly felt something was happening to her. She left the stairmaster and sat on a bench in the locker room. She had a headache. She moved from the bench to the floor by a locker. The gym manager called 911. She called Boston EMS, but Wildine wanted to go home. She signed them off and drove herself home. 

When she walked through the door of her house, the headache went from 1/10 to 10/10 to 20/10 instantly. Wildine states, "It felt like fire, it felt like a bomb. It was hurting." She called her friend Fita and told her she had pain in her spine. Fita advised her to call 911, and when EMS came to her door, she collapsed to her knees. 

She arrived at BMC and was greeted by her care team, Dr. Thanh Nguyen and Dr. Courtney Takahashi. She was found to have a subarachnoid hemorrhage due to a ruptured aneurysm. She was brought to the neurointerventional suite and underwent coiling of her aneurysm with good aneurysm occlusion.
Since her aneurysm treatment at BMC, Wildine has been very well and has had no significant headaches. She is grateful to God and to her care providers at BMC.