Skip to navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer

Approved Research

Genetic determinants of the formation and rupture of intracranial aneurysms

Principal Investigator: Professor J. Marc C. van Dijk
Approved Research ID: 68039
Approval date: April 27th 2021

Lay summary

Intracranial aneurysms are small balloon-like outpouchings of the cerebral arteries. They are present in around 3% of the general population and tend to be diagnosed more frequently due to the increased use of brain imaging. An aneurysm may rupture, leading to a so-called subarachnoid hemorrhage. Unfortunately, many patients experiencing this type of bleeding do not survive it (around 35%), and only a small group of survivors fully recover. It is therefore essential to identify aneurysms with a large risk of rupture, to be able to offer timely elective treatment. Although we know that genetic factors may play a role in the formation of an aneurysm, there is still a lot of uncertainty, in particular with regards to genetic risk factors that may increase the likelihood of aneurysm rupture.

We aim to investigate this, by assessing whether we can identify genetic differences predisposing aneurysm (1) formation, as well as (2) rupture. We hope that this research leads to a better understanding of why some aneurysms rupture and improve the risk assessment for the increasingly large group of patients with a known unruptured intracranial aneurysm.