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J Neurosurg. 2002 Jan;96(1):127-31.

Ruptured aneurysm on a double origin of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery: a pathological entity in an anatomical variation. Report of two cases and review of the literature.

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Service de Neurochirurgie, H─Ápital Larrey, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire, Angers, France.


The posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA) is known to be very variable, and some of its anatomical variations can explain ischemic complications that occur during endovascular treatment of aneurysms. The authors report two cases of anatomical variation of the PICA that they have called its double origin, one of which gave rise to an aneurysm. The first patient was a 36-year-old man who presented with a subarachnoid hemorrhage related to the rupture of a PICA aneurysm. The aneurysm was treated by the endovascular route. Selective and superselective studies showed that the PICA origin was low on the fourth segment of the vertebral artery (VA). The aneurysm was located on an anastomosis between the PICA and a small upper arterial branch originating from the VA. Embolization was performed through the small branch with no problem, but a lateral medullary infarct followed, probably due to occlusion of the perforating vessels. The same anatomical variation was incidentally discovered in the second patient. To the authors' knowledge, neither this anatomical variation of the PICA nor the aneurysm's topography have been previously described angiographically. This highlights the role of angiography in pretreatment evaluation of aneurysms especially when perforating vessels or small accessory branches that are poorly visualized on angiographic studies are concerned, as in the territory of the PICA. Anatomy is sometimes unpredictable, and the surgeon must be very careful when confronted with these variations because they are potentially dangerous for endovascular treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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