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Diagnosed migraine, tension headaches. CT scan done and normal. Can it be aneursym?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 78 Questions
hello i wrote to u many time i do have an anxiety condition, which is making every pain and ache worse. i do have horrible headaches almost on a daily basis, i was diagnosed woith migraines and tension headache. my fear is aneurim. every time i have aheadache i think i will die. i did have a cat scan in ceptember it was normal no tumors no as they said aneurisms. i go to doctors alot because of my anxiety so far this year i went 14 times. i heard that mri sees everything better but its a costly procedure i dont know if i need it. my history is no high blood pressure, nobody in my family had aneurisms, no kidney deseases., i dont smoke. my mom has migraines. i already asked this questin but i need second pr even third opinion. some doctors r telling me ct scan without a XXXXXXX which i had dont see aneurism some tellimg me it will see ameurism of more than 3mm . i need to know and also based on my headaches and that i dont have risk factors should i have more test
Posted Wed, 11 Apr 2012 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Gowri Kulkarni 56 minutes later

Thank you for posting the query.

I gather from your query that you are very worried that you might have an Aneurysm. Let me tell you a bit about Aneurysms.

What are Cerebral Aneurysms?

Aneurysms are localized dilatation of blood vessels due to weakening walls of the arteries.

What are the symptoms?

Many individuals have small Aneurysms and they remain asymptomatic through their lives.
The Aneurysms that grow usually give sudden and unusually severe headache, nausea, vision impairment, vomiting, loss of consciousness, hemiparesis. These may rupture leading to Sub-arachnoid hemorrhage.

Who is prone to it?

People who are hypertensives, dyslipidemic, atherosclerotic or who have had a head trauma. So people carry a congenital defect of arteries making them prone as well.

How can it be diagnosed?

CT scan.
CT/MR angiography. Magnetic resonance angiography is definitely a good test to detect small Aneurysms.

Coming back to your query,

You have no family history- rules out causes of congenital defect.
You do not smoke or have high blood pressure- rules out causes like Hypertension and Atherosclerosis.
Symptom profile includes only headache- there can be several causes of headache one of which, i.e Migraine is something you already have discussed.

My advise to you would be,

1. Get your migraine symptoms treated well. You are already on anti-inflammatory medications. Consult your Neurologist who would take a proper history and advise you on further medications if required.
2. Identify and keep away from all the triggers for your migranous attacks.
3. Adequate, restful and continuous sleep at-least 7 hours every night would help you a lot.
4. Work on taking adequate water intake and balanced diet.
5. Restrict alcohol intake.
6. Exercise or take up meditation and yoga to help you relieve your anxiety symptoms.
7. If you still persistently have headaches, it would be worthwhile to get a MR angiography done to relieve your anxiety.

Hope I have answered all your queries. Do revert if you have more queries.


Dr Gowri.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed migraine, tension headaches. CT scan done and normal. Can it be aneursym? 1 hour later
so u sugest i have a mr angiography only to come my anxiety or because of something else. and u didnt answer if i had a ct scan without a contrast i was told i have to tumors or aneurism would there be true. what exactly ct scan shows i have had different things told to me
Follow-up: Diagnosed migraine, tension headaches. CT scan done and normal. Can it be aneursym? 6 minutes later
also in ceptember i had blood work done on everything including XXXXXXX test but my cholesterol level were 211 total 49hdl 147 ldl 69try is that XXXXXXX i am scared
Answered by Dr. Gowri Kulkarni 1 hour later

Thank you for reverting back.

It would be great if you could upload your blood and past CT scan reports so that I could help you better.

Coming to your first query,

CT scan is a quick, cheap imaging obtained by using X-rays. It helps best in diagnosing bony problems, any bleed in the brain, pneumonia or other chest and lung problems.

CT scan is very accurate to detect aneurysms, It is better than MRI to detect aneurysms.

A plain MRI is superior in detecting any tumors in the brain than a plain CT scan.

A contrast enhanced CT scan is all that is required for aneurysms.

Better than Contrast enhanced CT is MR Angiography.

Better than the MR Angiography is the CT Angiography.

The choice would depend on the clinical condition and presenting symptoms and proposed line of management.

To sum up everything, MRI is superior when it comes to detecting tumors and CT scan or CT angiography is the best one for aneurysms.

MRI is a more expensive test taking longer time and uses magnetic field effect on the ions in the body fluids for imaging. MRI is more useful as it helps to see soft tissue structures, tendons and ligaments, spinal cord, tumors in the brain.

Your second query is regarding your Cholesterol level. According to the number that you have shared your total Cholesterol seems to be marginally raised. It is best to keep your Cholesterol level less than 200.

It would be great if you could upload your reports so that I could help you better.
In the mean time do try and follow the advise that I gave you in your previous query.

It is good to be worried about ones health but as I see it you are more healthy than most individuals. Keep a positive outlook towards life to gain maximum out of it.

Hope I have answered all your queries.

Wishing you a healthy life,


Dr Gowri

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Diagnosed migraine, tension headaches. CT scan done and normal. Can it be aneursym? 2 hours later
as my doctor told me i had every blood work that is in the book and all of my blood work was good my ct scan also was good based on my neuro exam i was diagnosed with migraines and tension headaches. its just with my anxiety every time i have aheadache i think i am dying
Follow-up: Diagnosed migraine, tension headaches. CT scan done and normal. Can it be aneursym? 6 minutes later
so again on more question based on all the things that i told u should i go any further or be confident that ct scan that i had didnt find anything even though it was without a XXXXXXX i do go to bthe doctors alot a do many unesesary tests but even my doctor told people who had 3 or more ctscans in life have risk to have brain tumors i already had 2 one of the head one of the lungs.and my cholesterol when u say marginaly high what does it mean. is it dangerously high
Answered by Dr. Gowri Kulkarni 3 hours later
Hello again XXXXXXX

Thank you for the follow up.

You do not need any further investigations. You can rest assured that you do not have any aneurysm or tumor in your brain.

The CT scan of your head is a good enough investigation. I do not think you need any further investigation in this regard.

Yes, your doctors were right in saying that repeated exposure to X-ray radiation(Which is used in CT scan) is harmful. It can cause a variety of cancers not only brain tumors, but also leukemias, thyroid cancers and many more.

Marginally high cholesterol levels mean that, Your cholesterol levels are not very high. They are elevated slightly. They can be controlled with dietary adjustments and exercise. Your cholesterol levels are not dangerously high.

You have mentioned that all your blood investigations, CT head, CT chest were within normal limits. If this is the case, I do not think you should worry about your health so much.

I understand that you do have anxiety, and anything to do with health does make it worse.

I suggest you seek help from your psychiatrist or a psychologist to help you deal with the issue. Talking to them does make things much much better.

Have a positive attitude towards life, don't let small issues like these XXXXXXX you of your happiness.

Hope I have answered all your concerns.

Wishing you good and worry free life.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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