Cerebral aneurysm

Last reviewed: 7 Jan 2023
Last updated: 09 Aug 2022



History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • headache
More key diagnostic factors

Other diagnostic factors

  • seizures
  • nuchal rigidity
  • decreased level of consciousness
  • focal neurologic deficit
Other diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • smoking
  • moderate- to high-level alcohol consumption
  • family history of¬†subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • previous subarachnoid hemorrhage
  • heritable connective tissue disease
  • hypertension
  • head trauma
  • intracranial infection
  • tumor
  • arteriovenous malformations or fistulas
  • drug abuse
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • conventional catheter-based angiogram
  • CT angiography
  • magnetic resonance angiography
More 1st investigations to order

Investigations to consider

  • CT head scan
  • lumbar puncture
More investigations to consider

Treatment algorithm


unruptured aneurysm

ruptured aneurysm



Giovanni Grasso, MD, PhD

Associate Professor

Department of Clinical Neurosciences

Neurosurgical Unit

University of Palermo




GG declares that he has no competing interests.


Dr Grasso would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Michael Chen, the previous contributor to this topic. MC is an author of a reference cited in this topic.

Peer reviewers

Jae H. Choi, MD

Research Director

Stroke Center/The Neurological Institute

Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

New York



JHC declares that he has no competing interests.

Peter Martin, MA, BM BCh, MD, FRCP

Consultant Neurologist

Addenbrookes Hospital




PM declares that he has no competing interests.

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