Glossary

Terms Related to Cerebral Aneurysms

Aneurysm: An abnormal bulging outward of an artery wall.

Angiogram: A study which shows the blood vessels in the brain by injecting a contrast substance (dye) through a catheter placed in the artery of the leg.

Angiography: X-ray of blood vessels using the injection of dye to see the vessels.

Balloon: An interventional devise designed for use in the blood vessel where temporary blockage is desired.

Brain Aneurysm: A weak bulging spot on the wall of the one of the arteries in the brain - also called an intracranial or cerebral aneurysm.

Catheter: A hollow flexible tube for insertion into a body cavity, duct, or vessel to allow the passage of fluids or distend a passageway. Used in the endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms.

Cerebral Aneurysm: A weak bulging spot on the wall of the brain artery - also called a brain or intracranial aneurysm.

Cerebrovascular: Pertaining to the brain and the blood vessels that supply it.

Craniotomy: Surgical procedure where a section of the skull cap is temporarily removed during surgery.

Detachable Platinum Coils: Small platinum coils used to occlude (fill) cerebral aneurysms. The coils are attached to a delivery wire and are fed through a microcatheter into the aneurysm. Once properly positioned within the aneurysm, the coil is detached from the delivery wire.

Endovascular: Within the vascular system.

Endovascular embolization: A technique, also referred to as coiling, that seals off the cerebral aneurysm and stops further blood from entering into the aneurysm. This method uses the natural access to the brain through the bloodstream via arteries to diagnosis and treat cerebral aneurysms.

Guide Catheters: In the endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms, these flexible tubes are introduced into the patient's carotid artery (the principal artery in the neck). Once positioned in the carotid artery, the guide catheter functions as a working channel through which smaller devices, like microcatheters, may be introduced into the brain.

Guidewire: A thin, usually flexible wire that can be inserted into a confined or tortuous space to act as a guide to facilitate passage of instrumentation, such as a catheter. Used in the endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms.

Hemorrhagic Stroke: A stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel and characterized by bleeding within or surrounding the brain. Subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke.

Intracranial Stenting: Vascular reconstruction using stents for the treatment of patients with wide-necked aneurysms.

Ischemia: Inadequate circulation of blood generally due to a blockage of an artery.

Ischemic Stroke: A stroke caused by interruption or blockage of blood flow to the brain.

Minimally-Invasive Medical Technologies: Alternatives to traditional surgery and other medical procedures that reduce risk, trauma, cost, procedure time and the need for aftercare. Can be used to treat cerebral aneurysms.

Microcatheter: A very small catheter used to deliver diagnostic and therapeutic agents such as embolic devices used in the endovascular treatment of cerebral aneurysms. Over-the-wire microcatheters are fed along a guidewire to the area of the body for treatment. Flow-directed microcatheters utilize the bloodflow within the vessel to direct the microcatheter through the vascular system.

Stent: A tube-like device made of metal that is placed into the intracranial circulation for the treatment of wide-necked aneurysms.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage (SAH): When a cerebral aneurysm ruptures, it causes bleeding into the compartment surrounding the brain, causing a subarachnoid hemmorhage. Subarachnoid hemorrhage from a ruptured cerebral aneurysm can lead to a hemorrhagic stroke, brain damage and death.