Is a fetal origin of the posterior cerebral artery a risk factor for TIA or ischemic stroke?

Cécile Monyé, Diederik Dippel, Dorine Siepman, Marcel Dijkshoorn, Hervé Tanghe, Aad van der Lugt

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Abstract

Background Fetal origin of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) is not uncommon. Whether patients with this anomaly have a higher risk of ischemic stroke in the territory of the PCA is not known. The clinical benefit of screening for a fetal origin in patients with TIA or stroke in the territory of the PCA and an ipsilateral atherosclerotic carotid stenosis is not clear. This study assessed the frequency of a fetal origin of the PCA in patients with a TIA or infarct in the territory of the PCA with 16-multidetector-row CT angiography (CTA). Methods 82 patients (52 male; mean age = 64; range 19 to 90 years) with isolated homonymous hemianopia and/or a PCA infarct underwent CTA of the carotid artery and circle of Willis. Results A fetal origin of the PCA at the symptomatic side was present in 14 patients (17 %) and at the asymptomatic side in 18 patients (22%) (OR: 0.7; 95 % CI: 0.3 to 1.7). Severity of stenosis (NASCET criteria) of the ICA at the symptomatic side was < 30%, 30-49% and >= 50% in 72, 2 and 8 patients, respectively. Number and frequency of a fetal origin in these groups were 12 (17 %), 0 (0%) and 2 (25 %), respectively. There was no association between a severe carotid stenosis and a fetal origin of the PCA at the symptomatic side. Conclusions This study does not provide arguments for an increased risk of ischemic stroke in the territory of the PCA in patients with a fetal origin of the PCA. A few patients with a TIA or infarct in the territory of the PCA have a fetal origin of the PCA in combination with a high-grade stenosis of the ipsilateral ICA, but not more often than one would expect from chance. Nevertheless, these patients may benefit from carotid endarterectomy.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)239-245
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neurology
Volume255
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-44-02
  • EMC NIHES-03-30-01

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