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Diagnosis

  • Accurate, early diagnosis of brain aneurysm is critical, but aneurysms usually have no symptoms until they bleed. Similarly, most people with arteriovenous malformation (AVM) experience few or no symptoms until the AVM ruptures and bleeds.

    Occasionally, these abnormalities can press on the brain or on the nerves stemming out of the brain and cause neurological symptoms without bleeding. 

    Symptoms of a ruptured aneurysm or AVM may include:

    • Severe, sudden headache, described as "the worst headache of my life"
    • Neck stiffness
    • Sensitivity to light
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Seizures

    When this bleeding occurs, most people realize that something is wrong and go to a hospital emergency room. 

  • Usually patients need a combination of tests to provide information for diagnosis and treatment.

    expand to learn moreComputed tomography (CT) scan

    expand to learn moreMRI

    expand to learn moreCerebral angiogram

    expand to learn moreMRA and CTA

    expand to learn moreLumbar puncture

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