Introduction to Intracranial Aneurysms

  • James V. Byrne
  • Guido Guglielmi


An aneurysm is a localised persistent dilatation of the wall of a blood vessel or the heart. The term is derived from the Greek word aneurysma; ana meaning across and eurys broad. This definition allows for venous and cardiac aneurysms, but since we are primarily concerned with aneurysms arising on arteries, the term will be used to mean arterial aneurysms. Intracranial aneurysms are traditionally classified by aetiology and morphology. The majority are idiopathic and saccular. They occur at arterial branch points around the circle of Willis and have thin walls comprising adventitia and intima only. Saccular aneurysms involve part of the circumference of the artery from which they arise and with which they communicate at a single opening or neck. Fusiform aneurysms involve the entire artery wall, without a neck. Rarely can a specific cause be identified and most saccular intracranial aneurysms are thought to be the result of a combination of structural and haemodynamic factors.


Intracranial Aneurysm Cerebral Aneurysm Moyamoya Disease Parent Artery Saccular Aneurysm 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • James V. Byrne
    • 1
  • Guido Guglielmi
    • 2
  1. 1.Radcliffe InfirmaryOxfordGB
  2. 2.Division of Interventional NeuroradiologyU.C.L.A. Medical CentreLos AngelesGB

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