OBJECTIVES: The Percheron artery (PA) is a rare variant vessel. Its acute occlusion can cause a bilateral symmetrical thalamic stroke, clinically manifested as a sudden alteration of consciousness that could vary from sleepiness to coma. In this paper, we illustrate a case of acute PA occlusion in a young, pregnant woman and present a review of the literature, focusing on the possible causes of the acute occlusion. METHODS: A 35-year-old woman, at the fourth week of pregnancy, came to the emergency department of our hospital because of a sudden onset and persistent loss of consciousness. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a symmetrical and bilateral thalamic infarction without evidence of other ischemic lesions, compatible with an acute PA occlusion. RESULTS: The patient, who showed full clinical recovery within a few hours of symptom onset, received a short-term anticoagulant treatment followed by aspirin for long-term prevention. CONCLUSIONS: We reviewed the literature about the possible causes of acute PA occlusion. This ischemic condition is usually associated with cardioembolic or small-vessel disease. However, in our patient, we did not find any element supportive for coagulative alteration or embolyzing conditions. PRACTICE: The presence of this type of thalamic stroke should be considered in the management of persistent loss of consciousness. PA occlusion is rare, but it needs a brain MRI examination for a correct diagnosis, a narrow evaluation of all the possible causes, and a long-term anticoagulant therapy. Pregnancy itself should constitute a rare but possible cause of a PA occlusion.

Acute Occlusion of the Percheron Artery during Pregnancy: A Case Report and a Review of the Literature

VITICCHI, GIOVANNA;FALSETTI, LORENZO;FIORI, CHIARA;JORIO, GIORGIA;BURATTI, LAURA;BARTOLINI, MARCO;SILVESTRINI, Mauro
2016-01-01

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The Percheron artery (PA) is a rare variant vessel. Its acute occlusion can cause a bilateral symmetrical thalamic stroke, clinically manifested as a sudden alteration of consciousness that could vary from sleepiness to coma. In this paper, we illustrate a case of acute PA occlusion in a young, pregnant woman and present a review of the literature, focusing on the possible causes of the acute occlusion. METHODS: A 35-year-old woman, at the fourth week of pregnancy, came to the emergency department of our hospital because of a sudden onset and persistent loss of consciousness. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a symmetrical and bilateral thalamic infarction without evidence of other ischemic lesions, compatible with an acute PA occlusion. RESULTS: The patient, who showed full clinical recovery within a few hours of symptom onset, received a short-term anticoagulant treatment followed by aspirin for long-term prevention. CONCLUSIONS: We reviewed the literature about the possible causes of acute PA occlusion. This ischemic condition is usually associated with cardioembolic or small-vessel disease. However, in our patient, we did not find any element supportive for coagulative alteration or embolyzing conditions. PRACTICE: The presence of this type of thalamic stroke should be considered in the management of persistent loss of consciousness. PA occlusion is rare, but it needs a brain MRI examination for a correct diagnosis, a narrow evaluation of all the possible causes, and a long-term anticoagulant therapy. Pregnancy itself should constitute a rare but possible cause of a PA occlusion.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/236300
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