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Can CT scans without CONTRAST show ANEURYSM?

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Can plain CT scans without contrast show up evidence of aneurysms at all?
My family has a history of aneurysms and I now have to be scanned to see if I have one. I'm booked in for a CT scan with contrast and I know that will definitely tell us if I do have any. But three years old patientago, I had a plain CT scan done and that came back all clear with no abnormalities. I'm pretty scared really and I'm just clinging to the hope that if there were any aneurysms, they would have possibly shown up then somehow. (That plain CT scan was for headaches which are actually caused from an old car accident and it's just nerves that are bungled.)
Would large aneurysms at least show up on plain CT scans?


Category: Radiologist

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Category: Radiologist
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Thank you for your query at
Plain CT scans do NOT show aneurysms. Since you are scared of contrast injection of the CT scan I would recommend u get an MRI brain with MR angiogram for intracranial circulation ... This is done without any contrast injection & is a more reliable modality to pick up intracranial aneurysms ... This can also be done in an open MRI machine, since you are scared of the closed tunnel of conventional MR machine.
Otherwise it's best to undergo contrast CT scan for detecting aneurysms ... Now a days the newer contrast injections are very safe as they are non ionic with low osmolarity ... Virtually no contrast reactions are noted with them ... Unlike the older contrast agents .

But I would still prefer a MRI brain with MR angiogram ( without contrast injection) to detect aneurysms
Hope this was helpful,

Patient replied :

Thankyou, I'm not scared of the CT with dye injection, I'm scared of the results. That's why I was hoping there was a possiblilty that any aneurysms could be found when I had my other plain CT scan done. But you've answered my question, thankyou.

Thank you for writing back to us.
You can get back to us anytime with more queries.

Patient replied :

I got the scan done and I know I need to go to my doctor for the actual results but when I got the scan, I asked the radiographer if he could see any aneurysms because I was so nervous and wanted to know right away if he could see anything. He told me my brain looks quite healthy and that he couldn't see anything obvious but to still make sure I go to my doctor for results. Does this sound promising to you? Or would he just be putting my mind at ease? Or if he saw something, would he just pretend he can't read the results and say nothing? He gave me a disc of the photos of my brain, would he do that if he thought I could look on them and see something wrong? I'm so unbelievably nervous.

Most likely he is right... The scan is normal ... But rightly you need to get the scan read by a Radiologist .... In which he will clearly mention about aneurysms.... That would be medico- legally an official report

Patient replied :

Can you see anything unusual on here? I thought I could see a small bump on one so that's got me worried. I have made an appt with my doctor anyway to get the results.

I do NOT see any aneurysms in the image you sent me ...
But it's best to go back to your radiologist for an official report ,as I mentioned before

Dr. Rohit Malik
Category: Radiologist
Residency, Fellowship: DNB, DMRD, DMRE, Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program, Seth G.S. Medical College & KEM Hospital, 1997 – 2001
Medical School: MBBS, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), Lokmanya TIlak Muncipal Medical College, 1991 – 1997
Dr. Rohit Malik and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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