MRI SPACE sequence confirmation of occluded MCA M2 dissection stump masquerading as a ruptured MCA aneurysm.
Intracranial vascular pathologies often have overlapping clinical presentations. Dissected vessel occlusions and bifurcation aneurysms can appear similar on pretherapeutic imaging. The medical management of these two entities is drastically different. The patient is a 51-year-old man who presented with severe, sudden-onset headache. Initial presentation was consistent with a ruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysm and surgical clipping was recommended. However, further review of radiographic findings could not definitively differentiate an aneurysmal origin of the symptoms as opposed to intracranial dissection followed by occlusion of the M2 branch of the MCA. MRI sampling perfection with application optimised contrasts using different flip angle evolution (SPACE) was performed and showed thin flow signalling distal to the dissected vessel stump confirming the diagnosis. Accurate diagnosis is a crucial step in directing treatment for intracranial vascular lesions. MRI SPACE is a simple tool in the diagnostic armamentarium to adequately direct treatment and avoid the potential for unnecessary interventions.
Khattar, NK; White, AC; Adams, SW; Aljuboori, ZS; Wilder, MJ; Downs, RK; James, RF
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