Evaluation

As a major referral center for brain aneurysms, UT Southwestern’s diagnostic capabilities are unmatched in the region. With the large number of brain aneurysm patients we see each year, we’re well equipped to make an accurate diagnosis in an efficient manner to get you to treatment quickly.

What to Expect

Unruptured brain aneurysms often are discovered incidentally during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scan for an unrelated headache or other condition.

You should bring any existing imaging results with you to your appointment. A common question that we receive is, “How long have I had my aneurysm?” We are better equipped to answer this question when you bring any prior imaging of your brain.

Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm or we detect it after you’re admitted to the hospital, our team will perform imaging studies using advanced imaging technology in order to provide a thorough evaluation. It is not uncommon for us to obtain further imaging on the same day as your appointment, so your flexibility is appreciated. This helps our neurosurgeons assess the brain aneurysm before it bursts. 

The diagnostic tests available at UT Southwestern include:

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – This scan produces detailed 2-D or 3-D images of the brain.
  • Computed tomographic angiography (CTA) – Combining a CT scan with injection of a special dye, this scan produces images of the blood vessels.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid test – In this procedure, a specialist uses a needle to draw cerebrospinal fluid from your back to check for red blood cells (also known as a spinal tap or lumbar puncture).
  • Cerebral angiogram – A catheter is inserted into a large artery and is threaded to the arteries in the brain. A special dye injected into the catheter travels to the arteries throughout the brain. X-ray images can then reveal details about the conditions of the arteries and the site of a ruptured aneurysm.

We have multiple MRI suites on the UT Southwestern campus, allowing for rapid evaluation and a faster brain aneurysm diagnosis. Our CTA capabilities include a 320-slice scanner for the most detailed imaging of the aneurysm and the blood flow around it.

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a brain aneurysm specialist at UT Southwestern’s facilities in Dallas or to learn more about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.