Cerebellar Infarction: Clinical and Neuroimaging Analysis in 293 Patients

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Background and Purpose

We performed this multicenter study to explore the full spectrum of the clinical characteristics and neuroimaging findings of cerebellar infarction, including patients with mild to severe illnesses.


We studied 293 consecutive patients with cerebellar infarction diagnosed by computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging who were admitted to 36 hospitals during 5 years.


Cerebellar infarcts constituted 2.3% of the total patients with acute brain infarction. The backgrounds and risk factors were similar to those in patients with infarctions of the cerebral hemispheres. At least 24% were embolic, and the diagnosis of embolism could not be ruled out in 27%. Infarcts involving the superior cerebellar artery (SCA) region (52%) and the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) region (49%) were far more frequent than those involving the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) region (20%). Patients with SCA infarcts exhibited obtunded consciousness and ataxia more frequently than those with PICA infarcts (P<.05). Infarcts in the PICA regions were associated with abnormalities of the PICA (64%) or the vertebral arteries (57%), whereas infarcts in the SCA and AICA regions were associated with abnormalities in the SCA or AICA, respectively, in approximately 30% of patients, in the basilar artery in approximately 16%, and in the vertebral artery in more than 60% of patients. Outcomes were poorer with SCA infarcts than with AICA and PICA infarcts.


These data indicate similar frequencies of SCA and PICA infarcts and illustrate the difference in clinical presentation and outcomes between SCA and PICA infarcts. They also indicate that not only in situ thrombosis but also cardiogenic or artery-to-artery embolism and the insufficiency of collateral circulation play important roles in the pathogenesis of cerebellar infarction. (Stroke. 1993;24:1697-1701.)

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