Poor outcome associated with probable bilateral extracranial ICA vasospasm

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We describe a woman with bilateral extracranial internal carotid artery (ICA) vasospasm. Initial MRI of the brain showed multiple areas of high-signal intensity in the white matter of both the frontoparietal lobes. She was alert, and the muscle strength of the four extremities was moderately decreased. Cranial CT on day 3 showed increased numbers of low-density areas in both the anterior cerebral arteries (ACA) and middle cerebral arteries (MCA), accompanied by neurological deterioration. Cranial and cervical CT angiography on day 9 showed that all areas of both the ACA and MCA had become low density. Both ICAs were markedly narrowed along their entire length and tapered. On day 16, the patient died. Three patients with bilateral extracranial ICA spasms have been described previously. To our knowledge, this is the first time to document bilateral ICA spasm causing elongated narrowing of the carotid arteries, leading to an unfortunate outcome.

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