Evidence for embolization from a posterior cerebral artery thrombus by transcranial Doppler monitoring.
Transcranial Doppler monitoring enables the detection of emboli passing through intracranial arteries. Comparison of the different intracranial vessels with respect to emboli detection can be of use in identifying the source of embolism.
We report the case of a patient with an acute posterior cerebral artery (PCA) infarct on the right side, with evidence for high-degree ipsilateral PCA narrowing on admission. During transcranial Doppler monitoring 3 days later, we found frequent emboli-like signals in the power spectrum of the right PCA distal to the stenosis but not in any other intracranial vessels. Four days later, angiography and transcranial Doppler failed to show PCA narrowing, and transcranial Doppler monitoring of the right PCA showed no further emboli-like signals. A stenosis of the right vertebral artery was regarded as the possible source of thromboembolic narrowing of the PCA.
We assume that in our patient a thrombotic clot in the PCA was resolved autolytically through detachment of small emboli into the distal part of the PCA. We speculate that in the early course of autolysis a larger fragment of the clot had occluded one of the distal branches, thus leading to the small PCA territory infarct.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association