Which physical findings are characteristic of basilar artery thrombosis?

Updated: Jan 11, 2019
  • Author: Salvador Cruz-Flores, MD, MPH, FAHA, FCCM, FAAN, FACP, FANA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

An abnormal level of consciousness and motor signs, such as hemiparesis or quadriparesis (usually asymmetrical), are seen in more than 70% of patients.

Bulbar and pseudobulbar signs are the most common findings in one series, reportedly affecting 74% of patients.

Pupillary abnormalities, oculomotor signs, and pseudobulbar manifestations (ie, facial weakness, dysphonia, dysarthria, dysphagia) are seen in more than 40% of patients.

The signs described can be present in different combinations. The recognized syndromes more commonly associated with basilar artery occlusion are locked-in syndrome and top-of-the-basilar syndrome.


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