Artery of Percheron infarction

Case contributed by Dr Sathiyaseelan Maniharan


Patient presented with sudden onset of ptosis and ophthalmoplegia . Known diabetes mellitus , ischemic heart disease and congestive cardiac failure. Echocardiography showed severe left ventricular dysfunction (Ejection fraction 20%) and left ventricular clots.

Patient Data

Age: 35 years
Gender: Male

T1 hypo and T2,FLAIR hyperintense abnormal signal changes with diffusion restriction are seen in the bilateral medial thalami and midbrain. Vertebral arteries and basilar artery are normal in MR angiogram. Cerebral venous sinuses are normal.

Diagnosed as an acute infarction of bilateral medial thalami and midbrain due to artery of artery of Percheron occlusion.

Case Discussion

This patient's embolus was presumably arising from the identified left ventricular thrombus.

The thalamus is supplied by multiple small vessels originating from the Posterior communicating arteries and P1 and P2 segments of the posterior cerebral arteries. The artery of Percheron is a normal variant, it is characterized with single arterial trunk arising from posterior cerebral artery and supplies to bilateral paramedian thalami and rostral midbrain 1.

Occlusion of an artery of Percheron leads to bilateral paramedian thalamic infarcts with or without midbrain involvement 1.

Differential diagnoses include 1:

  1. Top of the basilar artery syndrome.
  2. Bilateral internal cerebral venous thrombosis and
  3. Bilateral thalamic glioma

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