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A case of dissection of intracranial cerebral arteries with segmental mediolytic "arteritis"

, : A case of dissection of intracranial cerebral arteries with segmental mediolytic "arteritis". Clinical Neuropathology 13(6): 329-337

The intravital diagnosis of intracranial arterial dissection is not always possible due to atypic and non-specific clinical and radiological presentations. The postmortem pathological examination of cerebral blood vessels is therefore necessary to establish or confirm the presence of a dissecting aneurysm of intracranial arteries. Most of the described cases showed no significant underlying vascular pathology. Here we present the case of a 24-year-old women who died 5 days after admission to the hospital for a rapidly developing right-sided hemisyndrome. Neuroradiological examination had revealed ill-defined bifrontal hypodense lesions and angiographic findings were compatible with a dissection of the left extracranial internal carotid artery with embolic subocclusion of both anterior cerebral arteries. The pathological evaluation ruled out a thromboembolic occlusion of cerebral arteries and an extracranial internal carotid artery dissection but showed an extended dissecting process of variable age in the anterior circulation of the circle of Willis. The dissected vessels showed pathological changes characteristic of segmental mediolytic "arteritis" [Slavin and Gonzalez-Vitale 1976]. To our knowledge this is the first report on intracranial arteries being affected by this pathologic entity. Our case illustrates the importance of a postmortem examination of dissecting aneurysms of intracranial arteries. Careful serial section studies of dissected intracranial arteries in young subjects should be performed and may allow for a better understanding of the vascular pathology underlying the dissection processus.


PMID: 7851048

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