Cerebellar infarction

Cerebellar infarction is a relatively uncommon subtype of ischaemic stroke. It may involve any of the three arteries supplying the cerebellum:


Cerebellar infarcts account of approximately ~2% (range 1.5-2.3%) of all cerebral infarction 1-2.

Clinical presentation

Many of the symptoms of cerebellar infarction are non-specific, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, unsteadiness and headache, and the clinical diagnosis relies on focused neurological examination and a reasonable index of suspicion. Examination findings include incoordination, ataxia and horizontal nystagmus. Patients may also present with altered conscious state or coma.

Radiographic features


Typical features of infarction such as early loss of grey-white differentiation, hypoattenuation and oedema, progressing to chronic encephalomalacia may be identified in the relevant vascular territories.  

Treatment and prognosis

The mortality related to cerebellar infarcts is higher than that of other vascular territories. This is generally due to concomitant brainstem infarction, or compressive hydrocephalus, rather than cerebellar infarction in itself. Unusual complications include:

Differential diagnosis

Clinical differential considerations include

See also

Stroke and intracranial haemorrhage

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