Basilar Occlusion Syndromes: An Update

Stacie L Demel, Joseph P Broderick
Neurohospitalist 2015, 5 (3): 142-50
Basilar artery occlusions (BAOs) are a subset of posterior circulation strokes. Particular issues relevant to BAOs include variable and stuttering symptoms at onset resulting in delays in diagnosis, high morbidity and mortality, and uncertain best management. Despite better imaging techniques, diagnosis, and therefore treatment, is often delayed. We will present the most common signs and symptoms of posterior circulation strokes. Data on optimal treatment strategies are gathered from multiple case series, registries, and one randomized trial, which was stopped early. Possible etiologies of BAOs, acute, and subacute treatment strategies and special topics in neuroimaging of the posterior fossa are discussed. This review may be helpful to neurohospitalists who are managing patients with acute stroke as well as emergency room physicians and neurologists.

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