Brain (Cerebral) Aneurysm Community
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Avatar universal

Can a 3mm cerebral aneurysm be dangerous?

I recently had an MRI to try to determine the cause of my prolonged double vision, and the doctor said that although he could find nothing to explain the vision problem, he did notice a 3mm aneurysm.  He suggested that I have another MRI in 12 months time to see how it's going.  Is this reasonable or should I be doing something more?
23 Responses
Avatar universal
Welcome to the small aneurysm club.  I had an MRA for some headaches I was having back in late June.  I got a call a few hours later that scared the heck out of me.  They told me I had a 3 mm aneurysm.  I fretted for several weeks before I got in to see a neuro.  I had already researched surgeries, etc. figuring its a ticking time bomb and surgery was required.  To my surprise the neuro really put me at ease and recommended the exact thing as your doc: recheck it in 12 months.  Its still a bit unsettling but he was adamant that no surgeon would operate on this at this stage.  He actually called it a pre-aneursym or infindubulum.  Where is your aneurysm located?  Mine is in the anterior communicating artery.  He put me on no limitations other than no smoking.  I told him I love to workout, play sports and lift weights.  He said I could do whatever I wanted so long as it did not include power lifting 400 lbs or something extreme like that.  
Curious how you are feeling? I was just dx with a 2 mm and am freaking out
I  was diagnosed with a 2m PICA aneurysm a year ago. I was upset for about 3 or 4 more than I just learned to live and accept it. Too small and dangerous to operate and likeliness of rupture is very slim. Live life...:-)
Hi Emmi, how are you, I hope you are fine, my 4 mm cerebral thingy has been found 5 months ago, they offered coiling 'before it could go bust', no head pain, just coughing, feeling ok,- maybe just accept it and treat it carefully ?? good wishes to you, bri.
Avatar universal
Hi - I'm sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Have you been referred to a neurosurgeon?

Your question is a good one. Its one I asked when I was originally diagnosed 1.5 years ago. I found that you could go to 5 different doctors and get different responses from each. There's a number of factors that determine if yours fall into a dangerous category. If you have a family history of aneurysms, or have high blood pressure or smoke these are things to look into or change. I have read of people having annie's rupture as small as 2.4mm so anything is possible but just get yourself with a good neurosurgeon who does a thorough history and make a plan for follow up. I go in at this point once a year. First time around they found the 3.5 mm annie and this last CTA they did, there were two more tiny annies. What's reduced my stress is simply knowing I have a plan.

It wasn't until after I found out I had the aneurysm and saw the first neurosurgeon that I found out I have family members who had annies or had history of strokes and TIA's.

Find yourself a good neurosurgeon whom you can have yearly check ups with and join the wait and watch group ;-)

Wishing you well.
Avatar universal
i have just been diagnosed with a 2mm aneurysm which showed up on mra  my mri scan showed up normal before that i was suffering with what was called cough headache syndrom has anybody else  had symtons like this my neoroligst says this cough  headache is not connected to my anurysm also if the anurysm is small could this be a mistake i am very worried
1134902 tn?1296066144
hey I have a family history of Aneurysms in both side of my family.  My uncle passed away 3 yrs ago from an aneurysm which prompted my dads side of the family to get checked. My dad has 2 in his brain and has been on a waiting list in Toronto for the 3 years.  My mom went in due to double vision and came out with the diagnosis of 2 small aneurysms.  My mom wasn't planning on pursuing anything more, tho the doctor urged her to, she is yet to follow up.
Avatar universal
I have a 3mm aneurysm.  I was diagnosed by a neurologist.  Should I also get an opinion from a neurosurgeon?  Neurologist says to watch and wait.  Mine is in the left internal carotid artery.
Avatar universal
The rate of growth is what is important.  If you have other conditions that can affect it like high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes etc., you may want to ask your Neurologist to watch it on a more frequent basis to reduce your anxiety.  Usually a size near 5mm is when surgery is warranted on most aneruysms, however, I'm sure cerebral aneruysms would have a lower threshold.
Avatar universal
I am sorry to hear about your aneurysm.  I was recently diagnosed with 2 of them one 3mm and the other 2mm.  The response was have another MRI in 12 months.  I don't wish to have surgery however; it is very unsettling to know they could at some point rupture.  Still a bit nervous.  Good luck with your health.

Avatar universal
Hello everybody concerned about these things in your brains, I had 3 in mine measuring 4, 5 and 6mm.  I live in northern Ireland and found out about these in 2010.  In 2011( Aug and Dec) I had all three successfully coiled with platinum, the procedures were painless as I was asleep and I can honestly say that within 2 days of the procedures I was home.  the Surgeon went through my groin and passed the coils through my vein into all the anyerysms, this said I spent in total 16hours under aesthetic for the procedures.  I suffered next to no side effects other than loss of concentration,  I also do not suffer the severe headaches I used to get, I do still get them but they are no where as bad as they were.  Do not worry they are fixable with little disruption.
Hello Jimmy100, its 2018 now and I just found your comment from 2011, hope you are ok. Your description of the procedure did put my mind a bit at rest, 5 months ago I was diagnosed with a 4 mm brain aneurythm, located on top of head. The Neurosurgeon recommended 'wait and watch', my GP said ' its dangerous - need more action', so they offered coiling. Even I think a 4mm thing is too small to go in, would do it, but...., Would really like to hear how it went with you through the years, I am on the waitinglist for the operation,- but can cancel anytime, all the best and good luck to you, maybe I will get your answer ?  
Avatar universal
I was just diagnosed with a 3-4 mm outpouching or aneurysm in the carotid arter. Mine is doing the watch it and see mode and plans to do a MRA (MR angiogram) in 3 months to see if there are any changes. If there are changes in the size he plans to do a regular angiogram and insert a catheter into the leg and up into the artery to see if the carotid wall has thinned and if there is blockage. He gave me quite an education. An MRA is magnetic and has no xray or radiation involved. A CT angiogram has the radiation involved of about 50-100 xrays. And a regular angiogram has the equivalent radiation of 500+ xrays. He is going to do the least invasive right now which is the MRA. If he finds a definite change he will then go to the conventional angiogram that goes up through a catheter in the groin. I actually had a carotid aneurysm which resulted in two mini strokes I didnt even know I had and Im only 52.  I guess I should welcome myself to the aneurysm club.  
359574 tn?1328360424
I found out this week I have a 5mm one, but I don't know the specific location.  It looked to me like it was more near the front than the back of the head on the left side of the arteries that form the circle.  I am waiting for a call from the neurosurgeon's office to make an appointment to have it evaluated.
any findings or recommendations?
Avatar universal
I have been diagnosed of having aneurysms in both legs, i am 53 years old, i am awaiting mapping to be done on the legs, what do they mean by mapping.
They have carried out tests on the Aorta and stomach and said that there is nothing there, they now want another scan on my stomach after they said there is nothing there, does this mean that they have found something else or am i worrying about nothing.
5064574 tn?1363056919
hi i was diagnosed with 3mm brain annie in 2009 when i had a stroke. it was supposed to be checked every three months for the first year then once a year after. needless to say it's never been rechecked and since i have no income or insurance they will not do an mri. i've been to er several times and they do a ct and nothing shows not even the stroke. i've had a constant headache for a little over three years now, somedays worse than others but always there. anuerisms don't run in my family but apparently clots do. niece suffered a pulmonary embolism at age 19, nephew also and mother passed away 18months ago with a dbl pulmonary embolism. i can't get any blood work, carotid ultrasounds, mri/mra, or anything done. i'm on 325mg aspirin daily, 1800mg nuerotin, crestor, adivant, folic acid, zoloft, vicadin, meclizine, albuterol inhaler and nasonex. i feel like a flipping pharmacy
Avatar universal
Would a 4mm venous abnomaily be the same as a 4mm aneursim?
Avatar universal
I didn't look up what all of your medications are treating to find out if you are taking blood pressure med.  It is very important to control your blood pressure below 150 as the top number to avoid a rupturing of the aneurysm.  You should get a blood pressure device to check it periodically.  You don't say why you have no income, but it would be important to try to get the money to get an MRA to check its size. If it gets larger, it could very easily rupture and then you're most likely to be history.  Under ObamaCare, you should be able, or soon to be able to get low cost health insurance which could be your solution, especially if it turns out that the aneurysm needs to be treated.  Wish you the best.
Avatar universal
I have a long history of AVM: seizures at age 26 and pregnant, no probs for 17 years, then the AVM bled and I had it removed in 1988.  Just was cat scanned for a but of dizziness, low heart rate and was found to have a 3 mm aneurysm somewhere in the right interior carotid.  Was scared until I found out how small that is. Will see a nerosurgeon next week. RELAX, I say.  MBJ 15301
Avatar universal
I had aneurysm surgery Oct. of 2013. I was having trouble with my vision and called the eye doctor. They told me to call my family care doctor and my family care dr sent me to the emergency room. I was diagnosed with two aneurysms. One was 11 mm and the other was a 5 mm. That night we drove the University of Minnesota Hospital. Within a week I had surgery. Full blown craniotomy. While they were in there they found one more that was a 2 mm. They didn't want to touch that one because of how much they had to do to the other two. Headaches often since surgery but they say it is not related.
Avatar universal
Dear MBj15301

I am diagnosed with a 3mm aneurysm on my internal carotid artery. I feel I am between life and death. I am yet to see a neurosurgeon. It is an  asymptomatic one and found by accident while doing mri for my vertigo. Mri was negative. Would like to hear your survivor story whether you had to operate or wait and watch. The dr didn't tell me much other than I have a protuberance in my neck which may need further evaluation.
Avatar universal
Wow, you win with 11mm. And a craniotomy ! I really don't mean to poke fun. I am impressed that this is behind you. Almost 20 yrs ago I was dx wth MS and a 10mm aneurysm on right internal carotid and 3mm and 4mm on left ICA.
I was going to have a craniotomy to clip the R one, but during a pre-op cerebral angiogram when they cut/slit wall of the artery..8 days in Hosp and sent home told to wait 6 mos and come back for crainiotomy. Well 20"yrs later I am now pursuing the stent/fine wire mesh in artery treatment.
Oh, what made me write to u is headaches. I have had daily headaches for 40 years! Told not related to aneurysm and that surgery wouldn't change headache status....I am sorry you are suffering with headaches. Post op, how did that go for you?  Hang in there tlynngar. Nicky
Wow these stories are so helpful because I was diagnosed with 4mm aneurysm 4 weeks ago every sense my seizure which was the first time happening in the car on the highway God's angels was really with me could have wrecked, I do believe that it has everything to do with my headaches or some form of pain in the head that I cannot explain while I'm at the time going to see a specialist this week last week he said that the location was not safe and he want to do surgery it's so very scary thanks for sharing your stores.TakeCare
Is 4mm big enough to do a surgery? Take care!
Hello TaoJ, mine was found 5 mths ago, 4 mm after a mini stroke, they said 'wait n' watch', my GP said ' too dangerous - needs OP', - so Specialists offered OP, on waitinglist now,- no head pain- nothing -, would just like to watch it but its the 'timebomb' thinking which makes me uneasy ! Still can decide, best of Luck to all of us !!
...Forgot to mention they offered coils and said 4 mm can surely burst !!
Avatar universal
Should I get a second opinion on what to do long time standing on my feet I am Dizzy feel like I am going to pass out.should I have not returned to work so soon.
Hi Mekadiva, you didnt mentioned if you are diabetic ?? keep water and food coming, check for blood sugars !! good wishes, bri.
Avatar universal
Was this the cause of your vision issue? I ask as I just got dx with a 2 mm bulge. The last two wks Ive had very blurred vision, but assume its from new meds I am on which I just chose to go off of. She said to do a MRA in 12 months too and said it could be "artifact". Im freaking out though. I had the test due to drooping of my mouth and nose which is slight but has been going on for a yr-she said its unrelated
Avatar universal
And Im assuming u have seen a neurologist of course.
Avatar universal
Sorry but just curious did you have a regular mri without contrast with your diagnosis? I have only had regular MRI but debating on demanding one with dye
Avatar universal
I just found out I have a 8.3mm and have to wait 2 weeks to see a doctor. Of course it was found by accident. I bit nervous but trying to stay calm. I have been reading mostly 3mm and under. Should I be more concerned than I am?
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