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A 29-year-old member asked:

Is it possible for a ct scan of the head *without* contrast to show an unruptured brain aneurysm?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andres Katz
Surgery - Vascular 50 years experience
Depends : Calcification can give an idea of an intracranial aneurysm, but contrast study is essential for a complete study and the amount of contrast used in ct imaging of the brain is small.
Dr. Shadi Abu Halimah
Vascular Surgery 22 years experience
Usually not : Unless there is calcium in the aneurysm wall which is rare in brain aneurysm or it large aneurysm then we can see them without contrast.
Dr. Michael Gabor
Diagnostic Radiology 34 years experience
It is: possible, but not probable. The aneurysm would have to be relatively large, and even then the noncontrast appearance may not be specific.

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Similar questions

A 47-year-old member asked:

Will a brain aneurysm show up on a plain CT scan of the head?

3 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Barbara A Majeroni
Specializes in Family Medicine
Not necessarily: Unless it is very large, it may not show up on a plain ct. A ct angiogram is more sensitive.
A 47-year-old member asked:

Can CT scan without contrast show brain aneurysm?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 53 years experience
Unlikely: Due to resolution of a ct scan, many small aneurysms may not be seen, and, by far, the MRI would be far better, but again, it might take gadolinium. However, the cat angio could well detect an aneurysm, and this might work as well or better than a magnetic resonance angio.
A 26-year-old female asked:

Will a ct scan show whether I have a brain aneurysm?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Michael Korona
Radiology - Interventional 34 years experience
Yes: Has to be a CTA (CT angiogram). CT scan of the head without contrast doesn't detect aneurysms unless they are larger. CT scan of the head with contrast has a slightly better chance. CTA of the head is good for seeing aneurysms. See radiologyinfo.org and stroke association.org for more details.
Last updated Jun 12, 2019
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