Neuroimaging in acute posterior cerebral artery infarction

Neurologist. 2008 May;14(3):170-80. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e3181627679.


Background: The role of neuroimaging in acute posterior cerebral artery (PCA) territory infarction is less well appreciated compared with the anterior cerebral circulation because PCA infarction occurs less frequently and more often is associated with limited neurologic deficit not qualifying for thrombolytic therapy. On occasion, however, hemiparesis and/or visual field defect accompanies PCA infarction that would warrant thrombolytic therapy.

Review summary: As neuroimaging plays a central role in the diagnosis and treatment of acute stroke in the thrombolytic era, a series of case studies is presented to illustrate the role of computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in the setting of acute PCA infarction.

Conclusion: Familiarity with the neuroimaging features of acute PCA infarction can facilitate management in those select patients that qualify for thrombolytic therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Cerebral Angiography / standards
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Circle of Willis / abnormalities
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / standards
  • Humans
  • Infarction, Posterior Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Infarction, Posterior Cerebral Artery / pathology*
  • Infarction, Posterior Cerebral Artery / physiopathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Posterior Cerebral Artery / anatomy & histology
  • Posterior Cerebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Posterior Cerebral Artery / pathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests


  • Fibrinolytic Agents