Posterior cerebral artery (PCA) infarct
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At the time the article was created Anon Ny Mous had no recorded disclosures.View Anon Ny Mous's current disclosures
At the time the article was last revised Craig Hacking had the following disclosures:
- Philips Australia, Paid speaker at Philips Spectral CT events (ongoing)
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Posterior cerebral artery strokes are believed to comprise approximately 5-10% of ischemic strokes 6.
Symptoms of posterior cerebral artery stroke include contralateral homonymous hemianopia (due to occipital infarction), hemisensory loss (due to thalamic infarction) and hemi-body pain (usually burning in nature and due to thalamic infarction) 3. If bilateral, often there is reduced visual-motor coordination 3. It is generally considered that sensory loss and hemianopia unilaterally without paralysis, is diagnostic of PCA territory stroke 4.
Because the PCA supplies the thalamus, PCA infarction can lead to contralateral thalamic syndrome.
The most common causes of PCA strokes include atherosclerosis, small artery disease and embolism 5.
Treatment and prognosis
Depending on the timing (within 4.5 hours), patients may be eligible for thrombolysis (c. 2012) 4. If they present after this window, patients may be suitable candidates for endovascular treatments (including stenting, angioplasty, mechanical embolectomy, etc.), however, evidence for mechanical thrombectomy in PCA strokes has not yet been fully established (c. 2021) as all major thrombectomy trials did not include strokes involving the posterior circulation 5, 6.
The size of the vessel and unclear symptoms onset can make the treatment of acute ischemic stroke challenging 5.
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