Acute bilateral cerebellar infarction in the territory of the medial branches of posterior inferior cerebellar arteries.
We describe the first clinicoradiological report of acute bilateral cerebellar infarction confined to the territory of the medial branches of the posterior inferior cerebellar arteries.
A 65-year-old man with atrial fibrillation and hypertension had sudden onset of vertigo, followed by brief loss of consciousness. Three days later a cranial computed tomographic scan showed acute hydrocephalus and low-density areas in the cerebellar vermis on both sides. On transfer the patient showed mild dysarthria, dysequilibrium with retropulsion, symmetrical bilateral horizontal gaze-evoked nystagmus on lateral gaze, and marked gait ataxia without brain stem signs, followed by marked vertigo that was induced by motion. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging revealed abnormalities consistent with fairly symmetrical bilateral cerebellar hemorrhagic infarction that was confined to the territory of the medial branches of the posterior inferior cerebellar arteries, in addition to minimal high-intensity areas in the pons on T2-weighted images. The patient improved with conservative therapy, including intravenous administration of glycerol.
We speculate that our patient likely had initial transient occlusion of the right vertebral artery at the origin of the right posterior inferior cerebellar artery, which probably gave rise to the bilateral medial branches of posterior inferior cerebellar arteries. This caused infarction in the territory of the medial branches on both sides without remaining brain stem signs. Such an unusual pattern of cerebellar infarction accompanied by acute hydrocephalus posed a diagnostic challenge at the time of transfer to our care, and correct diagnosis was facilitated by cranial magnetic resonance imaging.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association