Lesion patterns and etiology of ischemia in the anterior inferior cerebellar artery territory involvement: a clinical - diffusion weighted - MRI study

E Kumral, A Kisabay, C Ataç
European Journal of Neurology 2006, 13 (4): 395-401
The topography and mechanism of stroke in the anterior inferior cerebellar artery (AICA) territory are delineated before, but the detailed clinical spectrum of lesions involving AICA territory was not studied by diffusion weighted imaging (DWI). We reviewed 1350 patients with posterior circulation ischemic stroke in our registry. We included patients if the diagnosis of AICA territory involvement was confirmed, and DWI, and magnetic resonance angiography were obtained in the 3 days of symptoms onset. The potential feeding arteries of the AICA territory were evaluated on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) using a three-dimensional rotating cineoangiographic method. There were 23 consecutive patients with lesion involving AICA territory, six with isolated lesion in the AICA territory, six with posterior inferior cerebellar artery, 11 with multiple posterior circulation infarcts (MPCIs). The clinical feature of isolated AICA infarct was vertigo, tinnitus, dysmetria, ataxia, facial weakness, facial sensory deficits, lateral gaze palsy, and sensory-motor deficits in patients with pontine involvement. Patients with largest lesion extending to the anterior and inferolateral cerebellum showed mixed symptomatology of the lateral medullary (Wallenberg's syndrome) and AICA territory involvement. Patients with MPCIs presented various clinical pictures with consciousness disturbances and diverse clinical signs because of involvement of different anatomical structures. Large-artery atherosclerotic disease in the vertebrobasilar system was the main cause of stroke in 12 (52%) patients, cardioembolism (CE) in one (4%), and coexisting large-artery disease and a source of CE in four (17%). The main cause of stroke was atheromatous vertebrobasilar artery disease either in the distal vertebral or proximal basilar artery. The outcome was usually good except those with multiple lesions. The new MRI techniques and clinical correlations allow better definition of the diverse topographical and etiological spectrum of AICA territory involvement and associated infarcts which was previously based on pathological and conventional MRI studies.


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