What is the role of endovascular therapy in the treatment 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

Angioplasty, stenting, mechanical embolectomy, and intra-arterial thrombolysis are enjoying ever-expanding application and use in acute stroke, although their roles continue to be defined. However, their application in the posterior cerebral artery (PCA) distribution is uncommon compared with other vascular distributions (internal carotid artery [ICA], middle cerebral artery [MCA], basilar artery, vertebral artery). This is likely due to the small size of the PCAs, low NIH Stroke Scale scores in which treatment benefit may be offset by procedural risk, delayed recognition of isolated PCA stroke syndromes, and other factors. Numerous mechanical embolectomy devices have been studied, and few have allowed or incorporated isolated PCA stroke for inclusion.


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