Vol 50, No 3 (2016)

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Midbrain and bilateral paramedian thalamic stroke due to artery of Percheron occlusion

Magdalena Restel1, Ałła Graban1, Grzegorz Witkowski1, Danuta Ryglewicz1, Halina Sienkiewicz-Jarosz1
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2016.01.008
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2016;50(3):180-184.



Bilateral thalamic strokes are rare manifestations of posterior circulation infarcts. Usually the etiology is cardioembolic or small vessel disease combined with individual anatomical predisposition. The symptoms include a variety of neurological deficits depending on thalamic structure involvement, such as paresthesias or numbness, hemiparesis with increased reflexes and Babinski sign, third cranial nerve palsy, speech and cognition disturbance, memory impairment and stupor. Neuroimaging usually reveals ischemic loci in adequate thalamic nuclei.

Case presentation

We report a case of 61-year-old man, active smoker (25/per day, 50 pack-years) with untreated hypertension who presented at admission consciousness impairment (Glasgow Coma Scale score 9 points), left pupil dilatation without reaction to light, left eye deviation downwards and outwards, vertical gaze paralysis and left-sided hemiplegia. Initial brain computed tomography (CT) was normal. Brain magnetic resonance with diffusion weighted imaging and fluid attenuation inversion recovery sequences (MR DWI/FLAIR) performed on admission showed ischemic changes in bilateral thalami, which were confirmed in routine MRI. Thrombosis of basilar artery and cerebral venous was excluded in CT angiography. Further diagnostic assessment revealed hyperlipidemia, paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and renal cancer with hepatic metastases.


Bilateral thalamic stroke due to artery of Percheron occlusion is a rare presentation of stroke, which can be overlooked in routine CT scan. If diagnosed, it requires further evaluation for stroke risk factors, especially cardiovascular disorders associated with increased embolic risk.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska