Journal article
Artery of Percheron infarction a rare anatomical variant and a diagnostic challenge: Case report


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Author list: Osama Abdalla Mabrouk Kheiralla
Publication year: 2021
Journal: Radiology Case Reports
Journal name in source: Radiology Case Reports
Volume number: 16
Issue number: 1
Start page: 22
End page: 29
Number of pages: 8
Web of Science ID:
PubMed ID: 33163128
Scopus ID: 85094575107
eISSN: 1930-0433


The Artery of Percheron (AOP) is an uncommon anatomic variant that provides arterial supply to the paramedian region of the thalami and bilaterally to the rostral part of the midbrain; it is a solitary arterial trunk that branches from a proximal segment of the posterior cerebral artery (PCA). Although AOP infarction results in a characteristic pattern of ischemia, namely bilateral paramedian thalamic infarct with or without midbrain involvement, it may cause diagnostic difficulties due to the variety of its clinical presentations and wide differentials, as well as its small diameter and the difficulty of obtaining visualization through diagnostic imaging. Early neuroimaging of AOP infarction and correct diagnosis are mandatory for early initiation of the appropriate treatment and better patient outcomes. This study discusses the imaging patterns and imaging differentials of AOP infarction and its clinical presentation. A 55-year-old man presented to the emergency department unconscious with Glasgow Coma Scale score of 4. Pupillary light reflex on both eyes was poorly reactive with dilatated right pupil. The patient flexed his arm and extended his leg on painful stimulus. Laboratory tests and electrocardiogram were unremarkable. Emergency cerebral CT scan and transcranial Doppler ultrasound were normal. He gradually regained consciousness with residual somnolence, ptosis, and vertical gaze palsy. Second CT scan showed bilateral paramedian thalamic areas of hypodensity, CT angiography (CTA) was unremarkable. MRI showed bilateral high-signal intensity on paramedian thalami fast spin echo T2, FLAIR, and diffusion-weighted sequences, low signal on apparent diffusion coefficient sequence. MR angiography (MRA) revealed an abnormal tiny vessel arising from the P1 segment of the left posterior cerebral artery. Imaging findings were consistent with AOP infarction. Aspirin was started, 4 hours after admission the patient regained consciousness, and gradually improved on the following days till he was discharged on the 15th day, with mild neurologic deficit. AOP must be considered whenever paramedian thalamic infarction is noted in neuroimaging. The difficulty in visualizing the AOP using diagnostic imaging is due to its small diameter, leading to the limited abilities of MRA and CTA to diagnose AOP infarction. An absence of evidence of AOP infarction in MRA or even CTA does not exclude its diagnosis. Good knowledge of the imaging characteristics of AOP infarction will help in early diagnosis and the achievement of good patient outcomes.


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Last updated on 2021-27-04 at 14:29