The anterior inferior cerebellar artery infarcts: a clinical-magnetic resonance imaging study

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Acute infarcts of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) are unusual. We report 15 cases of AICA infarcts and their correlation with the topography of the lesion by brain MRI. During 2 years we prospectively identified 7 cases of AICA infarcts among 770 acute strokes (0.9% of the acute strokes seen in our department). We studied these cases and also another 8 that we found retrospectively. Most patients (8/15) had a unilateral affectation of both middle cerebellar peduncle (MCP) and inferior lateral pontine area (ILP), in these cases the main symptoms were vertigo, ataxia, peripheral facial palsy and hypoacusia. Two other patients had isolated MCP infarcts and were characterized by peripheral vertigo and ataxia, without hypoacusia or facial palsy. Another 2 patients had isolated ILP territory infarct characterized by vertigo, left peripheral facial palsy without hypoacusia and mild or no ataxia. One patient had a Gasperini syndrome. Finally 3 patients had bilateral AICA infarcts due to basilar thrombosis. The etiology was atherosclerosis in 9 patients, lacunar due to hypertension in 1, cardiac embolism in 1, migraine in 1 and unknown in 3. Among the 15 patients only 2 died, both with AICA plus infarcts. In the remaining patients a follow-up during a mean of 31 months (3 months to 12 years) showed no recurrences.

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