Malignant Middle Cerebral Artery Infarct Caused by Eagle's Syndrome

Cureus. 2023 Oct 17;15(10):e47205. doi: 10.7759/cureus.47205. eCollection 2023 Oct.


Eagle's syndrome is characterised by elongation of the styloid process. The elongated styloid process can cause symptoms like dysphagia, facial or neck pain, syncope, visual changes, etc. In severe cases, it may cause a rupture or dissection of the carotid artery, which can lead to intracranial thrombo-embolism and ischemic stroke. We report a case of a 57-year-old male presenting with dysarthria and mild left-sided body weakness. An initial non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scan showed a possible right internal carotid artery thrombus. He developed worsening left-sided weakness and gaze palsy one day after the admission. Repeated CT brain and intracranial angiography were arranged, which showed significant oedema with mass effect and right internal carotid artery dissection with thrombus. He underwent decompressive craniectomy. An enlarged styloid process measuring 4.53 cm in close proximity to the cervical vasculature was also noted. He was not deemed an appropriate candidate for styloidectomy. Due to residual left-sided weakness, he had to take early retirement. He underwent extensive rehabilitation and was able to mobilize with the help of a quad stick after a period of nine months. At the five-year follow-up, there were no characteristic symptoms of Eagle's syndrome and he was mobilizing without support.

Keywords: acute ischemic infarct; carotid arterial dissection; eagle's syndrome; elongated styloid syndrome; internal carotid artery (ica); internal carotid artery occlusion; ischemic cerebrovascular disease; non traumatic carotid artery dissection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports