Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat 2015 18;11:379-84. Epub 2015 Feb 18.
Department of Neurology, Bezmialem Vakıf University, Istanbul, Turkey.
Background: Posterior circulation infarction accounts for approximately 25% of the ischemic strokes. A number of different conditions may be associated with the development of brainstem infarction. Prognosis and recurrence rate of brainstem infarction due to large-artery atherothrombosis is still controversial.
Methods: A total of 826 patients with ischemic stroke were admitted to our clinic during a 15-month period. Patients with clinical and radiological evidence of brainstem infarction were comprehensively assessed with appropriate vascular imaging modalities and for cardiological causes. Subjects with an established diagnosis of large-artery atherothrombosis were followed up for 1 year in terms of prognosis and recurrence rates.
Results: Of the 101 patients with an established brainstem infarction, the diagnostic work-up indicated the presence of large-artery atherothrombosis as the causative factor in 53. A recurrent stroke was detected in the posterior circulation within the first 3 months in 5.8% and within 1 year in 9.8% of these individuals. The 1-year mortality rate was 11.7%. All patients with recurrent stroke had intracranial vascular narrowing at baseline.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate a particularly high rate of recurrence and mortality at 1 year among patients who have a brainstem infarction due to intracranial arterial stenosis.