Brain Aneurysm

A brain aneurysm is a weakened, bulging area in a blood vessel in the brain. The more it grows, the higher the risk of rupture, thus becoming more dangerous over time. They are very common - 1 in 50 people have an unruptured brain aneurysm. There are between 3 to 5 million cases in the United States alone each year, though most people don’t show any symptoms. It is extremely important to try to catch an aneurysm before it ruptures, as a rupture is associated with a 60% or more chance of death.

University Hospital is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association — the highest level of certification available. We have the experience and the latest technology to deal with brain aneurysms, including assessing risk, providing screenings, discussing treatment options, and offering individualized support.

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors for brain aneurysms, among them:

  • Family history of aneurysm
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • Drug use
  • Traumatic head injury
  • Gender and age: women and patients over the age of 40 are at increased risk of aneurysm


If a patient is determined as ‘at-risk’ for brain aneurysm, they are then given a screening which includes special imaging testing. This test is known as an MRA, or magnetic resonance angiography, and needs to be ordered by a primary-care physician. It’s a painless, noninvasive procedure that is vital to determining whether a brain aneurysm is present and allowing us to prevent a potential rupture.


Treatment options for brain aneurysms vary as much as brain aneurysms themselves do. Just as two brain aneurysms can differ in size, shape, and location, a patient’s treatment requires individualized assessment and support to find the most appropriate technique.

Our team has the area’s most experienced surgeons trained in the latest neurosurgical procedures. They’re part of our multidisciplinary team of specialists that provides the most comprehensive neuroscience care available in South Texas.

University Health System is committed to helping prevent and protect against aneurysms and offers a variety of services for at-risk patients.