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Common Heart Defect Linked With Brain Aneurysms

Aneurysms detected in higher proportion of people with bicuspid aortic valves than controls

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- People with a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV), a common heart defect, may be at higher risk for brain aneurysms, according to research published in the May 4 issue of Neurology.

To screen for the presence of intracranial aneurysms, Wouter I. Schievink, M.D., of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues conducted magnetic resonance angiography or computed tomography angiography of the brain in 61 patients with BAV and 291 controls.

The researchers detected intracranial aneurysms in six of the BAV patients (9.8 percent). This was significantly higher than in the control population, in which they found three aneurysms (1.1 percent) despite the fact that other risk factors for intracranial aneurysm, such as female sex and advanced age, were more common in the control group than among the subjects with BAV.

"Further investigations including larger populations of patients with BAV are required to evaluate the risk of intracranial aneurysm formation in patients with BAV," the authors conclude.

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