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Thread: Sister with a suspected aneurysm?

  1. #1

    Sister with a suspected aneurysm?

    On Easter Sunday my sister (46) was life flighted to the Cleveland Clinic with a suspected brain aneurysm. She was complaining of a serious headache - which is not normal for her (fantastic health, no smoking, no hypertension, etc.) By Sunday evening they had preformed a angiography - the plan was to find the aneurysm and decide how to proceed with surgery on Monday. After the angiography the doctors said they had the best possible results - - no aneurysm. However, she does have blood in her cerebrospinal fluid - - which is draining. The doctor's said something about it "healing" itself?
    Since the incident on Sunday she has stepped down from ICU and had all of her IV's out. On Wed. she had a MRI which was "clear". Although she is medicated - she said her extremities feel fine - but she has a terrible headache (probably from the catheter and the angiography?)

    From the incident she only remembers the headache and seeing bright brown circle of lights. Other than the pain medicine she is acting normal.

    My parents and I are just looking for some direction. I am several hundred miles away so I am unable to help my parent understand. Can something "heal" itself? What can the blood be caused by? What happened?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by ervol57
    On Easter Sunday my sister (46) was life flighted to the Cleveland Clinic with a suspected brain aneurysm. She was complaining of a serious headache - which is not normal for her (fantastic health, no smoking, no hypertension, etc.) By Sunday evening they had preformed a angiography - the plan was to find the aneurysm and decide how to proceed with surgery on Monday. After the angiography the doctors said they had the best possible results - - no aneurysm. However, she does have blood in her cerebrospinal fluid - - which is draining. The doctor's said something about it "healing" itself?
    Since the incident on Sunday she has stepped down from ICU and had all of her IV's out. On Wed. she had a MRI which was "clear". Although she is medicated - she said her extremities feel fine - but she has a terrible headache (probably from the catheter and the angiography?)

    From the incident she only remembers the headache and seeing bright brown circle of lights. Other than the pain medicine she is acting normal.

    My parents and I are just looking for some direction. I am several hundred miles away so I am unable to help my parent understand. Can something "heal" itself? What can the blood be caused by? What happened?

    Thanks
    So, your sister probably had a subarachnoid hemorrhage that resulted in blood in the cerebrospinal fluid. This may be from a number of sources but the most common and fixable is an aneurysm. That was why they did the angiogram. It is good tha they did not find it. Blood causes headaches because it tends to cause the blood vessels to constrict and then dilate. It is good that she has no neurological problems associated with the hemorrhage.

    The question now is what caused it and whether something needs to be done. Other causes of subarachnoid hemorrhage include trauma, vasculitis, arteriovenous malformations (AVM), cocaine abuse, and blood clotting problems or anticoagulation. The fact that she has normal arteriogram rules out AVM's. I presume that she has been tested for clotting problems. Did she have a fall or bump her head? Anyway, I think that it is very good that she does not have any neurological loss.

    Wise.

  3. #3

    Thank you for the response.

    Thanks for the response. No bump on the head. As mentioned, she's in good health otherwise (walks 6 miles a day, vegetables, thin, etc.) - kind of a "constantly on the go" person. Unfortunatley, I am unaware of the many tests she has had so far, so I'm not sure what they tested for - or not (just the MRI she had early this morning - which was "negative").

    They will do the angiogram (graph) again tomorrow - she's not sure when. She's just very tired. Will that help identify where the problem stems from? Also, could she have had an anuerysm (the source) that "healed" itself so to say, as they said "no anuerysm" after the first angiogram? Also, how long does it take for the blod to drain from the cerebrospinal fluid - or does that vary from patient to patient?

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ervol57
    Thanks for the response. No bump on the head. As mentioned, she's in good health otherwise (walks 6 miles a day, vegetables, thin, etc.) - kind of a "constantly on the go" person. Unfortunatley, I am unaware of the many tests she has had so far, so I'm not sure what they tested for - or not (just the MRI she had early this morning - which was "negative").

    They will do the angiogram (graph) again tomorrow - she's not sure when. She's just very tired. Will that help identify where the problem stems from? Also, could she have had an anuerysm (the source) that "healed" itself so to say, as they said "no anuerysm" after the first angiogram? Also, how long does it take for the blod to drain from the cerebrospinal fluid - or does that vary from patient to patient?

    Thanks
    No, I don't think that it is likely for an aneurysm to disappear. It is possible that the aneurysm was very small and missed on an angiogram. Perhaps that is the reason why they want to do another angiogram?

    It takes several days for blood to clear from the cerebrospinal fluid. The average person makes about 2 liters of cerebrospinal fluid per day and that washes through the nervous system.

    One of the questions is whether she has a continuing leakage.

    Wise.

  5. #5
    I would just mention also that having a bleed like this into the CSF can increase her risks for developing hydrocephalus (water on the brain) as the blood can sometimes clog and impair the function of the parts of the brain that re-absorb CSF. She will need to be monitored for this, which can be done with serial MRIs or CTs. There are also some signs and symptoms that can indicate this is going on, so it will be important to discuss what to watch for with her neurologist.

    (KLD)

  6. #6

    Thanks Again.

    Thanks to you both - - it's very difficult when someone you love is in the hospital and you can't be there to understand what is going on........and not be able to hold their hand. I'm in Philly my sister is in Cleveland.
    Both of your time, in what I am sure are very busy lives, is very much appreciated!

    Thank you both for your information.
    I do know that she has had one MRI, which came back "negative". Yesterday they took her catheter out so she could get up a bit. She is on Percoset (sp) so she is very groggy and very tired. I suppose we will find out a little more today after her angiogram. Just didn't realize time could go so slowly............
    Last edited by ervol57; 03-28-2008 at 10:48 AM.

  7. #7

    Angiogram restults

    They have completed the angiogram and have found a "weak" vein. Not sure what that means. They are taking her back to ICU to monitor her. The doctor's have not talked to my brother-in-law yet so we don't know what the next step will be.

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