Strokes involving the artery of Percheron (AOP), an anatomic variant of thalamic vascular supply, are rare. Little is known about the inpatient hospital course for these patients. We retrospectively identified consecutive patients with AOP in their medical charts from a university-based tertiary care hospital from January 1, 2000, to August 15, 2017. A chart review identified demographics, transfer status, in-hospital versus community onset of stroke, emergency medical services (EMS) use, presenting signs/symptoms, time to radiologic diagnosis (from time of presentation to tertiary care hospital or from time of initial symptom onset in an already hospitalized patient), tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) use, intensive care unit (ICU) stays, intubation, length of stay (LOS), and discharge location. After radiologic inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied, 12 patients were included in the study. There were 7 men and 5 women, and the mean age (SD) was 68 (15). Seven were transfers, and 4 had an in-hospital stroke. Of the 8 community-onset strokes, 7 utilized EMS. Mental status changes occurred in 11 of 12 and ocular disturbances in all patients. Time to radiologic diagnosis averaged 1.9 (median = 1.1) days. One patient received tPA. Eight received care in the ICU. Four were intubated. Average LOS was 8.3 days. Four were discharged home, 3 entered inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and 5 entered skilled nursing facilities. In-hospital stroke status further complicates the already challenging diagnosis of AOP infarct, and clinicians must maintain a high suspicion for this rare stroke in order to quickly diagnose and intervene.
Keywords: artery of Percheron; bilateral thalamic infarct; hospital course; stroke.