Circle of Willis variation in a complex stroke presentation: a case report

BMC Neurol. 2006 Mar 15;6:13. doi: 10.1186/1471-2377-6-13.


Background: The impact of circle of Willis anatomical variation upon the presentation of stroke is probably underrecognized.

Case presentation: A 63-year-old right-handed woman developed a left hemiparesis and right leg weakness sequentially following a road traffic accident (RTA). Despite initial concern about the possibility of cervical spinal cord injury, the final diagnosis was bilateral artery-to-artery embolic cerebral infarction with dominant right internal carotid artery.

Conclusion: The case illustrates the complex presentation of stroke as a pseudo-cervical cord lesion and the impact of circle of Willis anatomical variation upon the expression of large vessel cerebrovascular disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Circle of Willis / drug effects
  • Circle of Willis / pathology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Paresis / drug therapy
  • Paresis / etiology*
  • Paresis / pathology*
  • Paresis / rehabilitation
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / drug therapy
  • Stroke Rehabilitation