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Transl Stroke Res. 2014 Apr;5(2):167-73. doi: 10.1007/s12975-013-0294-x. Epub 2013 Oct 30.

Cerebral aneurysms: formation, progression, and developmental chronology.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Medical Faculty, Heinrich-Heine-University, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225, Dusseldorf, Germany,


The prevalence of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIAs) in the general population is up to 3%. Existing epidemiological data suggests that only a small fraction of UIAs progress towards rupture over the lifetime of an individual, but the surrogates for subsequent rupture and the natural history of UIAs are discussed very controversially at present. In case of rupture of an UIA, the case fatality is up to 50%, which therefore continues to stimulate interest in the pathogenesis of cerebral aneurysm formation and progression. Actual data on the chronological development of cerebral aneurysm has been especially difficult to obtain and, until recently, the existing knowledge in this respect is mainly derived from animal or mathematical models or short-term observational studies. Here, we review the current data on cerebral aneurysm formation and progression as well as a novel approach to investigate the developmental chronology of cerebral aneurysms.

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