Anterior choroidal artery territory infarcts. Study of presumed mechanisms.
A previous study suggested that occlusive diseases of small penetrating arteries account for most anterior choroidal artery (AChA) territory infarcts, but half of the patients did not have an echocardiogram. Cases of AChA territory infarcts associated with internal carotid artery stenosis or atrial fibrillation suggest that this hypothesis may be wrong. The aim of this study was to determine the mechanism of 16 nonselected consecutive AChA territory infarcts.
The study population consisted of 8 men and 8 women aged 17 to 89 years. They underwent a computed tomographic scan at the acute stage, Doppler ultrasonography and B-mode echotomography of the cervical arteries, bidimensional transthoracic echocardiography, and cerebral magnetic resonance imaging, replaced by a second computed tomographic scan in 3 patients. Ten patients underwent cerebral angiography. We defined the presumed cause of stroke according to the criteria used in the trial of Org 10172 in acute stroke treatment.
The presumed cause of stroke was definite cardio-embolism in 4 patients (atrial fibrillation in 2, paradoxical embolism in 1, and left ventricular akinesia in 1); definite large-vessel atherosclerosis in 2; dissection of the internal carotid artery in 2; and definite small-vessel occlusion in 1. Seven patients had a negative diagnostic workup. Six patients had no risk factors for small-vessel occlusion. The AChA was not visible on angiography in 4 patients. One patient had two arterial cutoffs, suggestive of emboli in other cerebral arteries.
This study suggests that AChA territory infarcts are rarely related to small-vessel occlusion and therefore require a complete diagnostic workup.
- Copyright © 1994 by American Heart Association