Persistent primitive proatlantal intersegmental artery (proatlantal artery I) results in 'top of the basilar' syndrome.
Persistent primitive proatlantal intersegmental artery (proatlantal artery I) is an anastomotic channel between the carotid and vertebrobasilar arterial systems. Persistence of this embryonic anastomosis is very rare. The "top of the basilar" syndrome is usually due to occlusion of thalamoperforating arteries by emboli that rise from the vertebrobasilar arterial system. In this case, however, the emboli stemmed from atherosclerotic plaques in the carotid system.
A 55-year-old woman was hospitalized with top of the basilar syndrome. A brain scan showed hypodense lesions extending from the mesencephalon to both thalami. Digital subtraction angiography of the cerebral circulation was performed, which revealed a proatlantal artery I on the left side. In addition, atheromatous plaques were seen along the internal and common carotid arteries on the same side.
The occurrence of proatlantal artery I is extremely rare. Top of the basilar syndrome is also rarely encountered. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a patient with both conditions.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association