- Differences & Wrost
- What Are They? Chart
- 3 Types of Aneurysms
- 3 Types of Strokes
- Symptoms & Signs
- Causes & Risks
- Life Expectancy
- A stroke affects the brain and is caused by an interruption or reduction of blood flow.
- An aneurysm affects a blood vessel and is caused by weakness in the vessel wall.
Additionally, the symptoms of a stroke and an aneurysm can differ although there may be some overlap. However, both conditions can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention.
Stroke or aneurysm: Which is worse?
Both strokes and aneurysms can be serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. It is difficult to compare the severity of a stroke and an aneurysm as they are different conditions. However, a ruptured aneurysm is considered more severe than a stroke as it is more likely to cause death or severe brain damage.
Although a stroke can be less severe than an aneurysm, it can still cause permanent brain damage and disability.
In general, strokes and aneurysms require immediate medical attention, and prompt treatment can improve the chances of a good outcome. If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing a stroke or an aneurysm, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Stroke vs. aneurysm: Chart
Stroke and aneurysm are two different medical conditions that can have similar symptoms, but they have different causes and treatments.
|Definition||A medical condition that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted or reduced, resulting in the death or damage of brain cells||A bulge or ballooning in a blood vessel is typically caused by weakness in the vessel wall. Aneurysms can occur in any blood vessel in the body but are found in the aorta (the main vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body) and blood vessels in the brain|
|Cause||Caused by a disruption of blood flow to the brain, which can occur due to a blocked artery (ischemic stroke) or bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke)||Caused by a weakening of the vessel wall, which can be due to various factors such as genetics, high blood pressure, and trauma|
|Location||Can occur anywhere in the brain||Typically located in specific blood vessels such as the aorta, brain, or legs|
|Common symptoms||Symptoms can vary depending on the location and extent of brain damage. Common symptoms include sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking or understanding speech, confusion, and vision problems||Symptoms can depend on the location and size of the aneurysm. Common symptoms include severe headaches, sudden loss of vision, double vision, and neck pain. An aneurysm may not cause any symptoms until it ruptures|
|Diagnosis||Typically diagnosed through a combination of physical examination, imaging tests (such as a CT scan or an MRI), and neurological examination||Typically diagnosed through imaging tests such as a CT scan, an MRI, or an angiogram|
|Treatment||This may include medications to dissolve blood clots and prevent further damage to the brain, as well as physical therapy to help the person recover from any physical or cognitive deficits||This may include surgical repairs of the aneurysm, such as clipping or coiling, or medications to control blood pressure and reduce the risk of rupture|
|Outcomes||Can vary depending on the extent of brain damage, but some people may experience permanent disability or death||Can vary depending on the size and location of the aneurysm, but if left untreated, an aneurysm can rupture and cause severe bleeding and death|
3 types of aneurysms
There are several types of aneurysms, each affecting different parts of the body. However, the three most important types include:
- Aortic aneurysm
- Occurs in the aorta—the main blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Aortic aneurysms can occur in different parts of the aorta, including the abdominal and thoracic aorta.
- Abdominal aortic aneurysms are the most common type of aortic aneurysm and occur when the wall of the abdominal aorta becomes weak and bulges out.
- Thoracic aortic aneurysms occur when the wall of the thoracic aorta becomes weak and bulges out.
- Both types of aortic aneurysms can be dangerous if they rupture as they can cause severe internal bleeding and death.
- Cerebral aneurysm
- Occurs in the blood vessels of the brain. A cerebral aneurysm is a weak or thin spot on the wall of a blood vessel in the brain that balloons out and fills with blood.
- If the aneurysm ruptures, it can cause a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain) and can be fatal.
- Peripheral aneurysm
Other types of aneurysms
- Saccular aneurysm
- Also known as a "berry aneurysm" and is caused by weakness in the wall of an artery. It is the most common type of aneurysm and typically forms in the brain but can also occur in other parts of the body, such as the aorta.
- Saccular aneurysms are usually spherical or oval and have a distinct "neck" connecting the aneurysm to the normal vessel.
- Splenic aneurysm
- Fusiform aneurysm
- Dissecting aneurysm
- Occurs when there is a tear in the inner lining of the blood vessel, which allows blood to flow between the layers of the vessel wall. This can cause the blood vessel to bulge or rupture, which can be life-threatening.
- Dissecting aneurysms can occur in any blood vessel but are more common in the aorta. They are commonly caused by hypertension.
- Dissecting aneurysms are most commonly found in the thoracic aorta and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
- Mycotic aneurysm
- Traumatic aneurysm
- Caused by injury to an artery, such as a blunt force trauma or penetrating injury.
- Traumatic aneurysms can occur in any artery in the body and can be life-threatening if not treated promptly.
- False aneurysm
- An aneurysm occurs when an artery is injured and blood leaks out of the vessel into the surrounding tissue.
- This can cause a blood-filled sac to form, which can be mistaken for a true aneurysm. False aneurysms are most commonly caused by trauma and can occur in any blood vessel.
Aneurysms can be asymptomatic, meaning they may not cause any noticeable symptoms until they rupture. Regular checkups and screenings are important to detect aneurysms and take preventive measures.
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3 types of strokes
3 Main types of stroke include:
- Ischemic stroke
- Caused by a blocked blood vessel in the brain, which leads to a lack of oxygen and nutrients in the brain cells.
- The most common cause of an ischemic stroke is a blood clot that forms in an artery leading to the brain called an embolic stroke.
- Another type of ischemic stroke is caused by a thrombus (clot) that forms within the brain, called a thrombotic stroke.
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
- Also known as a "mini-stroke" and is caused by a temporary blockage of blood flow to the brain, resulting in temporary neurological symptoms.
- TIAs are caused by a blood clot or other obstruction that temporarily blocks an artery leading to the brain but dissolves or dislodges before causing permanent damage.
- TIAs often serve as a warning sign that a person is at risk of a more serious stroke in the future.
Recognize the signs of a stroke and seek medical attention immediately. The sooner a person receives treatment, the better their chances of recovery.
What are the differences between the symptoms and signs of stroke vs brain aneurysm?
The common signs and symptoms of an aneurysm can include a pulsating sensation near the affected area, a sudden and severe headache, pain above and behind the eye, nausea, and vomiting, sensitivity to light, double vision, and a stiff neck. If an aneurysm ruptures, symptoms can also include a loss of consciousness, a drooping eyelid, and seizures.
Signs and symptoms of an aneurysm
- Sudden, severe headache: Often described as "the worst headache of my life" and is caused by bleeding from a ruptured aneurysm.
- Nausea and vomiting: This may occur along with a headache caused by a ruptured aneurysm.
- Loss of consciousness: Due to a sudden and severe headache.
- Stiff neck: This may occur along with a headache.
- Numbness or weakness on one side of the face or body: This is a symptom of a ruptured aneurysm affecting the brain.
- Loss of sensation or movement in the limbs: This is a symptom of a ruptured aneurysm affecting the spinal cord.
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
Some aneurysms may not cause any symptoms and are only detected during a routine medical exam or imaging test. If you suspect you may have an aneurysm, seek medical attention immediately.
What are the common signs and symptoms of a stroke?
A stroke is a medical emergency that occurs when the blood supply to the brain is interrupted. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, depending on the area of the brain affected.
Common signs and symptoms of a stroke
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body: One of the most common symptoms of a stroke is caused by damage to the blood vessels supplying the brain.
- Sudden confusion or difficulty speaking or understanding speech: Caused by damage to the language centers of the brain and can make it difficult to communicate with others.
- Sudden difficulty seeing in one or both eyes: Caused by damage to the vision centers of the brain and can result in temporary or permanent vision loss.
- Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness, or loss of balance or coordination: Caused by damage to the parts of the brain that control movement and can make it difficult to walk or maintain balance.
- Sudden severe headache with no known cause: Caused by bleeding in the brain and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light.
- Sudden loss of consciousness or fainting: Can be caused by a loss of blood flow to the brain and can result in temporary or permanent unconsciousness.
Not all stroke symptoms will be present in every person, and some people may experience symptoms not listed above. If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing a stroke, it's important to seek medical attention immediately.
Are the causes and risk factors of a stroke and brain aneurysm the same?
Common causes of stroke
There are several common and general causes of stroke, which can be divided into two main categories:
- Ischemic stroke: Caused by a disruption of blood flow to the brain. It is the most common type of stroke and can be caused by several factors, including:
- Atherosclerosis: The buildup of plaque in the blood vessels that can narrow or block blood flow to the brain.
- Embolism: Occurs when a blood clot forms in another part of the body, such as the heart, and then travels to the brain and blocks a blood vessel.
- Thrombosis: This occurs when a blood clot forms in a blood vessel in the brain, blocking the flow of blood.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: Caused by bleeding in the brain. It is less common than an ischemic stroke and can be caused by:
- Hypertensive hemorrhage: This occurs when high blood pressure causes a blood vessel in the brain to rupture.
- Aneurysm: A weak spot in a blood vessel that can rupture and cause bleeding in the brain.
- Arteriovenous malformations: Abnormal tangles of blood vessels that can rupture and cause bleeding in the brain.
Other general causes of and risk factors for a stroke
- Cardiac conditions such as atrial fibrillation, a type of irregular heartbeat, can cause blood clots to form in the heart and travel to the brain
- Carotid or other artery stenoses (narrowing of the blood vessels)
- Sickle cell anemia and other blood disorders can cause blood clots to form in the blood vessels of the brain
- Heavy alcohol consumption and illicit drug use, both of which can increase the risk of a stroke
- Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of stroke by damaging the blood vessels and promoting the formation of blood clots
- Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol
- Previous stroke or transient ischemic attack
- Physical inactivity
- Genetic factors
- Age (Risk increases with age.)
- Gender (Men have a higher risk of stroke than women.)
- Ethnicity (African Americans have a higher risk of stroke than other ethnic groups.)
- Pregnancy (increased risk during pregnancy and immediately after giving birth)
Factors such as age, gender, family history, lifestyle, and ethnicity play major roles in increasing the risk of stroke.
What are the common causes and risk factors of an aneurysm?
The most common cause of an aneurysm is atherosclerosis. Other causes include trauma, congenital defects in the blood vessels, and certain medical conditions such as hypertension and arteritis. Infections can also lead to aneurysm formation. In rare cases, an aneurysm can also be caused by a tumor or a blood clot.
Potential causes of aneurysms
- Atherosclerosis: Buildup of plaque in the blood vessels, which can cause the vessel wall to weaken and lead to an aneurysm. Atherosclerosis is often caused by high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking.
- Trauma: A traumatic injury to a blood vessel can cause an aneurysm. For example, this can occur due to a car accident or fall.
- Infection: Certain types of infections, such as bacterial infections of the blood vessels, can cause an aneurysm to form.
- Congenital defects: Some people are born with defects in the walls of their blood vessels, which can lead to aneurysms.
- Arteritis: Inflammation of the blood vessels, such as Takayasu's arteritis and giant cell arteritis, can lead to aneurysms.
- Aortic dissection: A tear in the inner layer of the aorta, the main blood vessel carrying blood from the heart to the rest of the body, can lead to an aneurysm.
- Hypertension: High blood pressure can cause the walls of blood vessels to weaken over time, leading to aneurysms.
- Connective tissue disorders: Some connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, can cause aneurysms to form.
Risk factors for aneurysm
- Family history of aneurysms
- Use of certain drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamines
- Age (increased risk with age)
Not all aneurysms have a clear cause, and some aneurysms may be caused by a combination of factors.
What are the treatment options for a stroke?
Stroke treatment depends on the type of stroke and the stage of the event.
Several treatment options are available for a stroke, such as:
- Thrombolytic therapy
- Involves using drugs such as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) to dissolve blood clots blocking blood flow to the brain. tPA must be administered within a few hours of the onset of symptoms to be effective.
- Mechanical thrombectomy
- A specialized device removes blood clots from the brain. It is typically performed in the case of large clots that cannot be dissolved with thrombolytic therapy.
- Antiplatelet therapy
- Involves the use of medications such as aspirin or clopidogrel to prevent blood clots from forming. It is often used in combination with other treatments for stroke.
- Anticoagulant therapy
- Involves a range of therapies and exercises to help people with stroke recover as much function as possible. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and cognitive therapy.
- May be performed to remove a brain tumor or repair a blood vessel that has ruptured or is blocked.
- Lifestyle modification
The appropriate treatment for a person with stroke will depend on the type of stroke and the individual’s circumstances.
What are the treatment options for an aneurysm?
Several treatment options are available for aneurysms, each with its advantages and disadvantages.
Here is a list of some common treatments:
- Surgical clipping
- A traditional surgical procedure in which a small metal clip is placed on the neck of the aneurysm to prevent blood from flowing into it.
- The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically requires a hospital stay of a few days.
- Endovascular coiling
- A minimally invasive procedure in which a catheter is inserted through an artery in the groin and guided to the aneurysm. Tiny metal coils are then deployed inside the aneurysm, causing it to clot off and preventing blood from flowing into it.
- The procedure is performed under conscious sedation and typically requires a hospital stay of one or two days.
- Flow diversion
- A relatively new, minimally invasive procedure in which a small metal mesh device is inserted into the aneurysm through a catheter. The device diverts blood flow away from the aneurysm, causing it to shrink over time.
- The procedure is performed under conscious sedation and typically requires a hospital stay of one or two days.
- Open surgical clipping, this procedure is performed under general anesthesia, and it is invasive, but it is considered the most effective treatment for large, complex aneurysms.
- The procedure requires a hospital stay of several days and a recovery time of several weeks to months.
- In some cases, aneurysms may be small and not cause symptoms; in such cases, the aneurysm may be monitored with regular imaging studies instead of being treated immediately.
- This is typically performed for aneurysms that are less than 7 mm in diameter and that are not growing rapidly.
The choice of treatment will depend on the size, location, and shape of the aneurysm, as well as the person’s overall health and preferences. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment for your case.
What is the life expectancy after a stroke?
The life expectancy after a stroke depends on various factors, including the type of stroke, the severity of the stroke, and the person’s age and overall health.
Generally, people with a mild stroke have a life expectancy similar to that of someone who has not had a stroke. People with a more severe stroke may have a shorter life expectancy. Additionally, what may be considered a mild stroke in a young person may be considered a more severe stroke in an older person and vice versa.
Recovery time after a stroke is different for everyone—it can take weeks, months, or even years. Some people recover fully, but others have long-term or permanent disabilities. With the right amount of rehabilitation, a person's speech, cognitive, motor, and sensory skills can steadily be recovered.
On average, the life expectancy of a person who has had a stroke is about 5 to 10 years less than that of someone who has not. The outcome can vary greatly, and early rehabilitation can improve the chances of recovery.
Average survival rates of different types of stroke
- Ischemic stroke: 80 to 90 percent of people with an ischemic stroke survive although many may have long-term disabilities.
- Hemorrhagic stroke: About 50 percent of people with a hemorrhagic stroke survive.
- Transient ischemic attack: Also known as "mini-strokes" and have a very high survival rate as they typically do not cause permanent damage.
The average survival rate after a first stroke
- 60 to 69 years: 6.8 years for men and 7.4 years for women
- 70 to 79 years: 5.4 years for men and 6.2 years for women
- 80 to 89 years: 4.4 years for men and 4.8 years for women
- 90 years: 2.8 years for men and 3.2 years for women
These are general estimates, and individual cases can vary widely. Factors affecting survival rates include the person's age and overall health and speed and quality of medical treatment received.
What is the life expectancy after an aneurysm?
Life expectancy after an aneurysm surgery depends on the type of surgery and severity of the aneurysm. Generally, life expectancy is good if the aneurysm is repaired before it has the chance to rupture.
For people with a ruptured aneurysm, life expectancy is more variable and depends on the extent of the bleeding, the amount of damage caused, and the age and overall health of the person. In general, recovery and life expectancy improve if the aneurysm is treated before it ruptures.
General survival rate statistics of an aneurysm
- Ruptured aneurysm: The overall survival rate of a person with a ruptured aneurysm is about 40 percent. However, if the aneurysm is treated within the first 24 hours, the survival rate increases to about 60 percent.
- Unruptured aneurysm: The survival rate of a person with an unruptured aneurysm is much higher, with a reported rate of about 95 percent.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage: The survival rate of a person with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a type of hemorrhagic stroke caused by a ruptured aneurysm, is about 50 percent.
- Aneurysm in the brain: The survival rate of a person with a brain aneurysm is 70 to 90 percent.
In general, according to various studies, the mortality (death) rate is 1.7 percent and the morbidity (development of complications) rate is 6.7 percent.
- The cumulative survival of the general population at three, five, and eight years was 93.22, 88.30, and 80.27 percent, respectively.
Studies report a 30-day survival rate of between 53 and 57 percent.
- The short-term mortality rate is between 8.7 (one week after treatment, during the hospitalization period) and 18.4 (after three months) percent.
- Ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms continue to have a significant mortality rate.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
National Stroke Association. "Types of Stroke and Treatment." <https://www.stroke.org/en/about-stroke/types-of-stroke>.
A STROKE OR AN ANEURYSM: WHICH IS IT? https://braincenter.org/2022/09/07/a-stroke-or-an-aneurysm-which-is-it/#:
Statistics and Facts: https://www.bafound.org/about-brain-aneurysms/brain-aneurysm-basics/brain-aneurysm-statistics-and-facts/
These Are the Differences Between a Stroke and an Aneurysm: https://thegreenfields.org/these-are-the-differences-between-a-stroke-and-an-aneurysm/ Stroke vs. Aneurysm: Treatment Options: https://www.safestroke.eu/2016/11/29/stroke-vs-aneurysm-treatment-options/
Stroke and Aneurysm Care: https://www.sanfordhealth.org/medical-services/brain-and-spine/stroke-and-aneurysm-care
What You Should Know About Stroke and Aneurysm Treatment: https://www.pacificneuroscienceinstitute.org/blog/aneurysm/treatment-of-stroke-and-aneurysms-what-you-need-to-know/
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