Anterior cerebral artery A1 segment hypoplasia is an uncommon fetal variant of the circle of Willis. The frequency of this congenital variation is 1-13% as derived from angiograms and autopsy reports. Impaired collateral blood flow through the circle of Willis is a recognized risk factor for ischemic stroke. The A1 segment of the anterior cerebral artery is a principal supplier of anterior collateral blood flow. The aim of our study was to determine whether A1 segment hypoplasia may be responsible for acute ischemic stroke. We consecutively examined 280 acute ischemic stroke patients (aged 66.9 +/- 14.2 years). Cerebral magnetic resonance angiography was performed within 72 h of ischemic stroke onset. The overall incidence of A1 variation in our experimental group was 15.0% (n = 42, agenesis/hypoplasia = 18/24), which was statistically higher than in the control group (n = 12). The majority (n = 30, 71.42%) had ipsilateral striatal lacunar infarctions. Based on our results, A1 agenesis/hypoplasia appears to be a risk factor contributing to ischemic stroke, especially to strokes in arteries penetrating the striatal area.
2007 S. Karger AG, Basel