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BAV and the Brain

Berry Aneurysm

Carrie Mettler, pictured with Dr. Wouter Schievink, who successfully clipped the berry aneurysm behind her left eye.
BAV, Brain Aneurysm and Other Cerebral Complications Some individuals and families with BAV have been found to have not only a weakness in the aorta, but also in the blood vessels of the head and neck. This weakness may result in brain aneurysm or dissection. One school of thought is that the vessels in the head and neck are formed from the same cells as the aortic valve and aorta, and therefore share the same abnormal tissue. Studies have begun in this area. The inspiration for this paper, published in Neurology in May 2010, was the discovery of a berry aneurysm behind the left eye of one of the Bicuspid Aortic Foundation’s board members, Carrie Mettler. Screening for intracranial aneurysms in patients with bicuspid aortic valve Another paper, published in November 2012, addresses another area of concern in those with BAV: Spontaneous intracranial hypotension in patients with bicuspid aortic valve It is interesting to note that Dr. M.E. Abbott,  an authority on BAV and other forms of congenital heart disease, decades ago documented the sudden death of a 20 year old with BAV due to a ruptured brain aneurysm (Atlas of Congenital Heart Disease, 1938, p. 22, Plate IX, Fig 7c). As screening and follow up are done on more BAV families, more information will become available.  
Brain Aneurysm

Dr. Wouter Schievink speaking about BAV and brain aneurysm at a BAF Conference.
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