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Eur Radiol. 2000;10(12):1865-70.

Hypoplasia of the internal carotid artery: a noninvasive diagnosis.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Cliniques Universitaires de Mont-Godinne, Universit√© Catholique de Louvain, Yvoir, Belgium.


We present the characteristic imaging findings of hypoplasia of the internal carotid artery (ICA) in two cases, one accompanied by an intracranial aneurysm. Finding of a diffuse luminal narrowing of the ICA on MR angiography or digital subtraction angiography (DSA) could wrongly evoke severe acquired diseases such as dissection or atherosclerosis. Absence of associated wall thickening and flow disturbances on color Doppler sonography (CDS) should suggest carotid hypoplasia. Confirmation of the diagnosis is obtained by CT of the skull showing a small carotid canal. Non-invasive procedures are sufficient to differentiate this rare congenital anomaly from acquired string signs.

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