Inferolateral thalamic ischemia secondary to PCA P2 perforator occlusion mimics MCA stroke syndrome.
Paramedian thalamic strokes following occlusion of the posterior medial (paramedian) thalamic perforators have been previously described in great detail. However, the stroke syndrome associated with occlusion of posterior lateral (inferolateral) thalamic perforators is less commonly known. We present an illustrative case of an inferolateral thalamic perforator stroke mimicking a middle cerebral artery (MCA) syndrome and provide a review of the literature. A 62-year-old male presented with dysarthria, contralateral hemisensory loss, and contralateral weakness, concerning for possible MCA stroke. However, close examination revealed the hemiparesis to be ataxic in nature. Imaging revealed a left PCA P2 segment occlusion and lacunar infarction of the ventral lateral (VL) and ventral posterior (VP) thalamus, the main thalamic destination of cerebellar and sensory pathways. The case is unique because the P1 segment and posterior communicating artery (Pcom) remained patent, resulting in selective occlusion of only the posterior lateral (inferolateral) thalamic perforators at the P2 level. Acute loss of the posterior lateral (inferolateral) thalamic perforators at the proximal P2 segment results in a ventral lateral and ventral posterior thalamic stroke characterized by contralateral hemisensory loss, contralateral ataxic hemiparesis, and dysarthria. It is important to recognize the inferolateral thalamic stroke syndrome, as it may be mistaken clinically for an MCA occlusion. The benefit of mechanical thrombectomy for this type of stroke is not well established and should be considered carefully.
Griffin, AS; Mariano, R; Hauck, SK; Hauck, EF
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