Background: Ischaemic stroke features may show regional differences. Posterior circulation stroke (PCS) is of special interest, as symptomatology, course and outcome are usually different and complex. No significant studies or registries have reported on the characteristics and outcomes of PCS in our region.
Methods: We prospectively collected data of 116 patients with PCS admitted from 2005 through 2008 in the only stroke admitting hospital in Qatar. Demographics, risk factors, clinical signs/symptoms, pattern of presentation, aetiology, imaging features, complications and outcome at discharge and follow-up were recorded.
Results: Mean age was 53 years with 25% aged < or = 45, 85% were males. Demographically 47% were Arabs and 51% of South-Asian origin. Mean duration from onset to presentation was 29 h. Major risk factors were obesity (66%) and hypertension (61%). Minimal or fluctuating symptoms were present in 64%, while 9% had maximal deficit at onset. Thirty nine per cent had lesions in proximal territory and 23% in multiple territories. Around 41% had no occlusion, 16% had vertebro-basilar, 16% vertebral, 8% basilar occlusion. Etiologically 53% patients had large artery disease, 16% small vessel disease, and 17% cardioembolism. Seventy per cent of patients were discharged home, while 10% expired. Modified Rankin score (mRS) at discharge was < or = 2 in 53% and > or = 4 in 13% patients. At 30-day follow-up, 68% had mRS of < or = 2. Ninety-day survival status showed 89% alive with mRS < or = 2 in 73%.
Conclusion: The aetiology and lesion topography of PCS in this heterogeneous population differs from the pattern observed in other populations.