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Will An Aneurysm Dilatation Show Up In A MRI Scan?

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Posted on Mon, 9 Mar 2015
Question: Can on a MRI an aneurysm dilatation an on a MRA Head WO Contrast (Arterial) doesn't show up? What is a aneurysm dilatation mean
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Aneurysmal dilatation interchangeable with aneurysm

Detailed Answer:
Good evening. My name is Dr. Saghafi and I am a neurologist from XXXXXXX Ohio.

Aneurysmal dilatation refers to an abnormal outpouching or "ballooning out" of an artery. The terms "aneurysm" and "aneurysmal dilatation" are often used interchangeably.

I'm not exactly sure what the other part of the question asks so if I don't precisely answer your question please feel free to rephrase it but it is possible for an aneurysm to show up on an MRA but not MRI. Less likely the other way around. That is because an MRA is a type of scan which is specially designed to see the arterial circulation of an area or region.

I hope this answers your question and if so would appreciate a STAR RATING and some written feedback. Also, if there are no further questions your CLOSING THE QUERY on your end would also be most appreciated.

In the future you are always welcome to place questions to me directly by writing to: bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi


Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Dariush Saghafi (11 minutes later)
Can you tell me why on a MRI with Contrast aneurysm dilatation shows up. Then on a MRA Head WO Contrast it doesn't show which one is more accurate a why? What does aneurysm dilatation mean? Really simply word because it's another wise it's hard for me to understand.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Aneurysmal dilatation means ABNORMAL BALLOONING OF ARTERY

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for your question in return.

As I stated in my previous answer aneurysmal dilatation means BALLOONING of the wall of an ARTERY (anywhere in the body). It is usually due to a weakening of the wall of the artery in a specific location where the ballooning occurs because the vessel is under high pressure or there is some defect in the material that makes up the arterial lining or the wall allowing for this type of deformation to occur.

MRI's and MRA's are tests which are designed to detect different things. In the MRI of the brain generally speaking what is being looked at are structures of the brain. In other words, the actual substance and components of the brain itself. When contrast is used it is with the intent that something abnormal will be found such as a tumor or ateriovenous malformation or abscess/infection, etc. Sometimes it is possible to see small aneurysms on an MRI and depending on whether contrast is given or not it may be quite obvious even though the test itself is not designed to look at blood vessels.

If on the other hand an MRA (Magnetic Resonance Angiography) which is specifically designed to look at the ARTERIES of the brain FAILS to show an aneurysm...this does not mean that one does not exist. The use of contrast on the MRI may actually make that test more sensitive to picking up an ANEURYSMAL formation or DILATATION (enlargement) that the MRA failed to see. It's unusual but does happen.

My guess is that if the MRA were repeated WITH CONTRAST that it would show the aneurysmal swelling or dilatation equally well IF NOT BETTER than the MRI because with the MRA you don't have the substance of the brain to look at in the pictures...just the blood vessels.

Which one is MOST ACCURATE? If one of those 2 studies clearly showed the presence of an aneurysm or aneurysmal dilatation then, I would say the chance is high that it is a real finding. If on the other hand an MRA WITH CONTRAST failed to show the aneurysm in the same location as the MRI showed then, I would say that the chance is the original MRI with contrast study was in error.

The gold standard, however, for diagnosing aneurysms is NOT MRI nor MRA...but rather arterial angiography...which for the brain would require a 4 vessel injection of XXXXXXX This carries risks of complications and for that reason the preference is to use something such as MRA's or MRI's hoping to find something positive and definitive so that invasive testing may be avoided. However, if it's felt that an aneurysm seen by MRI or MRA is of sufficient size that it needs to be intervened upon then, in all likelihood the neurologist or neurosurgeon in charge of the case will order the STANDARD ANGIOGRAM of either 2 or 4 vessel depending on what they find and that becomes the definite and final word on whether or not there truly exists an aneurysm and its specific size as well as location.

Hopefully, I have answered your questions and if so would appreciate a STAR RATING and some written feedback. Also, if there are no further questions the CLOSING OF THE QUERY on your end would also be most appreciated.

Please feel free to ask me more questions in the future by directly writing to: bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi

Cheers!

This query has required a total of 33 minutes of physician specific time to read, research, and compile the return envoy to the patient.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Dariush Saghafi

Neurologist

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2473 Questions

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Will An Aneurysm Dilatation Show Up In A MRI Scan?

Brief Answer: Aneurysmal dilatation interchangeable with aneurysm Detailed Answer: Good evening. My name is Dr. Saghafi and I am a neurologist from XXXXXXX Ohio. Aneurysmal dilatation refers to an abnormal outpouching or "ballooning out" of an artery. The terms "aneurysm" and "aneurysmal dilatation" are often used interchangeably. I'm not exactly sure what the other part of the question asks so if I don't precisely answer your question please feel free to rephrase it but it is possible for an aneurysm to show up on an MRA but not MRI. Less likely the other way around. That is because an MRA is a type of scan which is specially designed to see the arterial circulation of an area or region. I hope this answers your question and if so would appreciate a STAR RATING and some written feedback. Also, if there are no further questions your CLOSING THE QUERY on your end would also be most appreciated. In the future you are always welcome to place questions to me directly by writing to: bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi