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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2013 Oct;22(7):1125-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2012.10.004. Epub 2012 Nov 24.

Factors associated with the misdiagnosis of cerebellar infarction.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Tokyo Women's Medical University, Tokyo, Japan. Electronic address:



Cerebellar infarction is easily misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed. In this study, we investigated factors leading to misdiagnosis of cerebellar infarction in patients with acute ischemic stroke.


Data on neurological and radiological findings from 114 consecutive patients with acute cerebellar infarction were analyzed. We investigated factors associated with misdiagnosis from the data on clinical findings.


Thirty-two (28%) patients were misdiagnosed on admission. Misdiagnosis was significantly more frequent in patients below 60 years of age and in patients with vertebral artery dissection, and significantly less frequent in patients with dysarthria. It tended to be more frequent in patients with the medial branch of posterior inferior cerebellar artery territory infarction, and infrequent in patients with the medial branch of the superior cerebellar artery territory infarction. Thirty out of 32 (94%) misdiagnosed patients were seen by physicians that were not neurologists at the first visit. Twenty-four of 32 (75%) misdiagnosed patients were screened only by brain CT. However, patients were not checked by brain MRI or follow-up CT until their conditions worsened.


Patients below 60 years of age and patients with vertebral artery dissection are more likely to have a cerebellar infarction misdiagnosed by physicians other than neurologists.

Copyright © 2013 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Cerebellar infarction; misdiagnosis; neurologic deficits; risk factor; vascular territory; vertigo

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