Screening: Familial Aneurysms
In most cases, brain aneurysms are not hereditary, and there is generally only a single case in a family. Occasionally, however, an individual with a brain aneurysm will have other family members who are affected. When two or more first-degree relatives (parent, child, or sibling) have proven aneurysms, these are called “familial aneurysms.”
Individuals in these families may be at higher risk of developing aneurysms than the general population. Therefore aneurysm screening with an imaging study of the brain arteries is usually recommended, particularly for first-degree relatives.
If an aneurysm is found, the specialist will work with you to determine if the aneurysm should be treated and, if so, what type of treatment to have. If no aneurysm is detected, a repeat screening may be performed in the future.
Data from a large study of familial aneurysms (the Familial Intracranial Aneurysm Study) indicate that there is a 20 percent incidence of aneurysms in first-degree relatives of patients with a familial aneurysm. Family members most likely to have aneurysms were women or individuals who had a history of smoking and/or high blood pressure.