Medical Specialties: Family practice, Internal medicine, Neurology

Clinical Definition

An aneurysm is an abnormal dilation, ballooning or bulging of the wall of an artery. It develops at a site of weakness. While aneurysms are more common in adults than children, they can occur at any age. Small aneurysms generally are not accompanied by symptoms, but those with a larger aneurysm may report vision problems or a loss of feeling in the face.

In Our Own Words

Aneurysms, described most often as a ballooning or bulging of an artery wall, occurs at a point of weakness in the blood vessel wall. Aneurysms can occur anywhere, but two common sites are in the brain and the aorta. The exact cause is not known, but experts believe family history, a history of traumatic injury, smoking and hypertension (high blood pressure) may contribute to the risk. Aneurysms are more common in men than women, and family history and genetics can also play an important role. 

Relevant Conditions
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Common Types
  • Cerebral aneurysm
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Berry aneurysm
  • Aortic aneurysm
Side Effects
  • Loss of feeling in face
  • Vision problems
  • Headache (with rupture)
  • Mental confusion (with rupture)
Share this article
  • Cleveland Clinic. "Brain Aneurysm." Diseases and Conditions 2013. Accessed July 2013.
  • American Academy of Neurology. "Cerebral Aneurysms” 2013. Accessed July 2013.
  • American Academy of Neurology. "Cerebral Aneurysms" 2013. Accessed July 2013.
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