How fast is this thing growing?

First of all I am still pretty nervous because I found out in November that I have a small (2nn) aneurysm and still have not seen a neurosurgeon. I keep calling and getting told it will be a few months.
Secondly I had an MRI in 2010 after a really bad headache and there was no aneurysm. My happy theory of having had it all my life has been crushed when I got a copy of that 2010 report. That means it’s grown 2mm in about 3 years. I am scared of the rate of growth and the time it takes to get medical care here in Canada. If my dr orders a repeat MRI now, it will likely be 6-months to a year before I get one. Also I have no other choice of surgeon. I love that healthcare is free here but the quality of care would be worth the price. Any advice?
Sorry for venting

Hi there, I’m sorry I’m useless on advice for people in Canada, BUT I do want to address your concern about rate of growth. I had an MRI following a minor stroke in 2011 and it did not show my aneurysm. The aneurysm was found on MRA (MRI with contrast) July 2013. So I thought the same thing - it must have grown really quickly. But no. I have seen several excellent specialists and they all say an ordinary MRI wouldn’t necessarily show the aneurysm. They all agree I’ve probably had it for many years. So, hang in there. Keep pressing to be seen as soon as possible but also know its possible you’ve had it for a long time.


From what I understand, 2mm is in fact very small. It may even be so small it wouldn’t be prudent to operate, but instead monitor it. Growing a 2mm Annie in a three year window isn’t necessarily fast growing either, but you also don’t really have a true point of reference, rather a window of time. Getting another scan will tell you if it’s truly growing and at what rate. Having said all of that, I totally understand the waiting and wondering and manic frustration of not having all of the answers right away! Research our forums and read up so you have some real life experiences and ask questions of us. I hesitate to say welcome to the site, because it feels out of place to say so, but I’m glad you found it and I know you’ll feel more at ease talking here. P.S. Venting is completely allowed. :slight_smile:


An Mri is great for many things in our bodies...but not necessarily great for viewing an aneurysm with much detail. The type of scan you need to have is an angiogram with contrast dye..or at the very least, an MRA with contrast.

An angiogram is considered to be the 'gold standard' and shows the vessels quite clearly...thus giving your surgeon a far more detailed picture of your aneurysm. Also it will give a clearer view on the size of the annie, what sort of edges it has, if there appears to be any weak spots or out-pouchings--very important details that a regular MRI cannot achieve. I hope you can get in soon

Best of luck to you,


Thanks Janet,
I’m told I had an mra and the neurosurgeon’s secretary said she asked the neurosurgeon about an angiogram but she would not do one because it had more risk than doing nothing…
Thanks for your message :slight_smile:

Thank you Karene, I never really thought of that. Something about the idea of it having been there a long time is a bit more comforting, I know the second MRA is the important one that will tell me if it’s growing and how quickly. The unknown us always so scary.
Thanks very much for your response.

Thanks Sarah, you’re right that the next MRA is the really important one. I’ve been on this site for a few months researching then I had to take a little break, sometimes it gets too scary and overwhelming. I am thankful to have a place to vent and lovely people who help with that fear!

try to avoid stress, drinking and smoking. anything to cause ,ore pressure. hugs

Hi Bee, I'm also another Canadian waiting, wishing & waiting ...hell, my phone calls don't even get returned! If it's any comfort to you though, I have lived 30 years with 4 aneurysms 3mm, 1mm x2 & basiliar tip at 6mm, but am just now looking into repair as I was always told they were not growing as per yearly checks...................sooooo until now, didn't let it get to me. Think you will feel better when a neurosurgeon explains your case to you. Wishing you good luck for early call! Where are you located? BTW vent all you want, it's better than keeping it in. Talk soon & as often as you like!!

I had an angiogram for one aneurysm, then 6 months later i had an mri which picked up a 2mm annie elsewhere. This hasn’t altered in the last 4 years. My consultant said it must of popped out in those 6 months but could (and hopefully will) stay as it is! Xxxx

Hi Dee,
Thanks so much for your message. I am from Nova Scotia :slight_smile:
I did finally get an appointment with a neurosurgeon in May, I just want to hear from her that things are stable which I’m sure they are but it will surely bring some comfort knowing I am being followed. I have a lot of questions. I think it’s fantastic that you haven’t had any growth in 30 years!!! I’m hoping for the same! I do have two other “pre-aneurysms” I’m told…sigh. Trying not to think about it too often. Take care

Thank you Karen. How are yours now?


It's great that you got appt.for May, as things don't move very fast it seems in Canada?? I'm sure it will reassure you hearing it from neurosurgeon! Might I suggest you make a list of all those questions, keep it handy & add to it, as you think of new ones (& believe me you will) because once you get in there, seems we never get enough time to ask all! Then, on the way home, you think "Oh!, I forgot to ask this & dang, I didn't mention that!!!

THE OTHER "pre-aneurysms" what's that? something starting to bulge out? BTW, I'm in Ontario.

Theyve not altered in the slightest, although I have my yearly scan next week and am meeting with the neurosurgeons after. They seem to be less surgery orientated over here in the uk but as im 'young' 33 they want to explore surgical options. For me the first few months after finding out I had them were soooo worrying, but with time that has got less. My surgeon says some people just cant cope and watch and wait just isnt an option.

Bee the other thing I will add is my small annie is 1-2mm. It never showed on 3 mri's then I had an angiogram where it was found. Last year I had another mri and they couldnt see it again. Surgeon said when they are that small they can be tricky to see. So you may have had it a long time, it just never showed up xxx