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Neurologist. 2012 Sep;18(5):321-3. doi: 10.1097/NRL.0b013e31826754a9.

Cervical rib, a rare cause of recurrent stroke in the young: case report.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, SMS Medical College, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India.



Cervical rib usually causes neurological symptoms in the upper limb but stroke as an initial presentation is very uncommon. Recurrent supratentorial and infratentorial stroke in a single patient is very rare. Cervical rib can lead to anterograde or retrograde thromboembolic phenomenon leading to ischemic stroke.


A 14-year-old girl presented with a history of sudden onset of loss of consciousness and left hemiparesis of 2 days duration. She had a similar episode 2 years ago, from which she had recovered to a large extent with minimal residual left hemiparesis. On examination, she was unconscious and localizing to pain on the right side. Radial pulse was absent on the right side. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a right fronto-temporo-parietal old infarct with a new subacute infarct involving right cerebellar hemisphere and brainstem. X-ray of the chest showed a right-sided cervical rib. Computed tomographic angiography of the neck vessels revealed stenosis of subclavian artery at the site of the cervical rib with poststenosis dilatation. Patient was managed with anticoagulant and antiplatelet therapy initially and excision of the cervical rib was performed as a definitive procedure. She responded well to the treatment and at 6 months of follow-up, the strength on the left side had improved substantially. She was capable of doing her daily activities independently with little imbalance.


The reported patient is the first in the literature who suffered recurrent supratentorial and infratentorial stroke as a complication of cervical rib. We stress the need for early diagnosis of this easily treatable cause of stroke in the young.

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