What are the goals of assessment of posterior cerebral artery (PCA) stroke?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: Erek K Helseth, MD; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

The approach to stroke in the PCA territory is no different from the approach to stroke elsewhere in the brain. The immediate goals of assessment are to correctly identify stroke as a diagnostic possibility, appropriately localize the lesion, and determine the time of symptom onset. A high clinical suspicion of stroke can be supported when there is an acute onset of neurologic symptoms referable to a cerebral arterial distribution.

The phenomenology of PCA stroke is a function of the neuroanatomy and corresponding vascular supply; therefore, historical information may have a highly localizing value. PCA syndromes can be divided roughly into those involving the midbrain, thalamus, occipital cortex, medial temporal lobe, or occipitoparietal cortex or combinations of these.


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