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Clinical profile and prognosis of patients with posterior circulation stroke

Kavita J. Rawat, Bhaskar S. Korde, Kavita S. Joshi.

Background: Posterior circulation stroke is less common than stroke involving the anterior circulation. An understanding of the Posterior circulation stroke phenomenology and mechanisms requires knowledge of neurovascular anatomy and of the structure-function relationships of this region of the brain. Identifying mechanisms of stroke is essential so that appropriate preventive therapies may be instituted.
Methods: A prospective study was conducted over a period of 1 year after obtaining permission from institutional ethics committee. Recently diagnosed cases of posterior circulation stroke from medicine and neurology wards were enrolled, who fulfilled inclusion criteria.
Results: Most common age for posterior circulation stroke in this study was 41-70 years of age with median age of 56.5 years. It is more common in males (55%) than females (45%). Ischemic posterior circulation stroke is more common (63.15%) than haemorrhagic posterior circulation stroke (36.85%). Most common presenting feature of posterior circulation was ataxia (77.3%). Most common risk factor for posterior circulation stroke was hypertension (60.5%) followed by dyslipidemia (55.26%). Most common site of involvement in ischemic posterior circulation stroke was cerebellum (37.5%) followed by occipital lobe (24%). Commonest site of bleed found was cerebellum (64.4%) followed by pons (35.6%). Mortality in posterior circulation stroke in present study was 15.78%.
Conclusions: Posterior circulation stroke present with a wide variety of symptoms. Episodes are often staggering and more protracted than those of anterior circulation stroke. Further studies are needed to determine the safest and most effective treatment modalities for the various types of posterior circulation stroke.

Key words: CVA, PCS, Stroke

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