The case for family screening for intracranial aneurysms

Neurosurg Focus. 2011 Dec;31(6):E8. doi: 10.3171/2011.9.FOCUS11210.


Given that relatives of patients with intracranial aneurysms (IAs) or subarachnoid hemorrhage have a greater risk of harboring an aneurysm, family screening has become a common practice in neurosurgery. Unclear data exist regarding who should be screened and at what age and interval screening should occur. Multiple factors including the natural history of IAs, the risk of treatment, the cost of screening, and the psychosocial impact of finding an aneurysm should be taken into account when family screening is considered. In this paper, the authors review the current literature regarding risk factors and natural history of sporadic and familial aneurysms. Based on these data the authors assess current recommendations for screening and propose their own recommendations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Family*
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnosis*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / genetics*
  • Mass Screening* / methods
  • Mass Screening* / standards
  • Risk Factors
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Subarachnoid Hemorrhage / genetics