Glossary

A

  • Aneurysm - a bulge or weakening of an artery wall.

  • Artery -  a thick-walled blood vessel carrying blood flow from the heart to any organ of the body, including the brain.

  • Angiogram -  a type of x-ray that takes pictures of blood vessels with the help of contrast dye injected via a catheter into the blood stream.

  • Arteriovenous Malformation -  an abnormal collection or tangle of arteries and veins located within the substance of the brain in which a maldevelopment of capillaries (which normally connect the arteries and veins) allows a high flow short cut through the brain.

B

  • Balloon test occlusion - A test performed during an angiogram in which a balloon is temporarily inflated inside an aertery to blcok the flow of blood.  Used to evaluate collateral blood flow to the brain and assess whether a bypass or vessel sacrifice can be safely tolerated.

C

  • Cerebellum - part of the brain responsible for balance and muscle control for movement.

  • Cerebral bypass - an operation in which a surgeon creates a new pathway for the movement of fluids and/or other substances in the brain.

  • Coiling - a procedure, performed during an angiogram, in which platinum coils are inserted into an aneurysm.

  • Contrast agent - a liguid (usually iodine or gadolinium) that is injected into your body to make certain tissues more visible during diagnostic imaging (angiography, CT, myelogram, MRI).

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan - a type of diagnostic x-ray that views anatomical structures of the brain and spine, especially bones, soft tissues and vessels.  Images are viewed in slices.

E

  • Embolization - the insertion of material; coils or glue, into an  aneurysm so blood can no longer flow through it. 

  • Endovascular - relating to a procedure in which a catheter containing medications or miniature instruments is inserted through the skin into a blood vessel for the treatment of vascular disease. 

G

  • Gadolinium - a type of contrast agent used during MRI. 

H

  • Hemorrhage -  external or internal loss of blood from damaged blood vessels. Hemorrhage is stopped by blood clotting.

  • Hemorrhagic stroke - stroke caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.

  • Hypertension - a condition in which the force of the blood against the artery walls is too high. Hypertension is defined as blood pressure above 140/90.

I

  • Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) - bleeding  directly into the brain tissue; may cause a stroke.

  • Ischemia - a low-oxygen state usually due to obstruction of the arterial blood supply or inadequate blood flow leading to hypoxia in the tisuue.

  • Ischemic stroke - stroke caused by an interruption or blockage of oxygen-rich blood flow to an area of the brain; caused by a blood clot, atherosclerosis, vasospasm, or reduced blood pressure.

M

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) - a diagnostic test that uses a strong magnet to view tissues in your body and displays "slices".

O

  • Occlusion - an obstruction  or closure of a passageway of vessel.

P

  • Perfuse - to force blood or other fluid to flow from the artery through the vascular bed of a tissue.

R

  • Radiologist - a doctor who specializes in reading X-rays and other diagnostic scans.

S

  • Seizure - uncontrollable convulsion, spasm, or series of jerking movements of the face, trunk, arms or legs.

  • Spasticity - severe muscle rigidity and spasms caused by damage to motor pathways; makes movement of the arms and legs difficult.

  • Stent -  a tube-like device that is inserted into a vessel or passageway to keep it open.

  • Steroid - Many hormones, body constituents, and drugs are steroids. Examples: drugs used to relieve swelling and inflammation such as prednisone, Vitamin D, and the sex steroids such as testosterone.

  • Stroke -  an interruption of the blood supply to the brain; may cause loss of ability to speak or to move parts of the body.

  • Subarachnoid space - the space between the pia and arachnoid matter of the brain and spinal cord that contains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

  • Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) -  bleeding in the space  surrounding the brain; may cause a stroke.

  • Syncope -  a fainting spell caused by an abrupt reduction of blood flow to the brain.

V

  • Vasospasm - abnormal narrowing or constriction of arteries due to irritation by blood in the subarachnoid space.

  • Ventricular drain - a catheter placed in the ventricle of the brain to drain excess cerebrospinal fluid.

 
 
 
 
 
 

© 2020 by Tri-State Brain Aneurysm Support Group.

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