Systemic giant cell arteritis and cerebellar infarction

C. A. McLean, M. F. Gonzales, J. P. Dowling

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Background and Purpose: Systemic giant cell arteritis causing cerebellar infarction due to intracranial arteritis of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery has not been previously reported. We report this infrequent occurrence and discuss the differential diagnosis. Case Description: An 85-year-old woman was admitted with a 2-week history of episodic ataxia, unilateral headaches, and vomiting. She had a history of atrial fibrillation and breast carcinoma. Her mental state was initially normal, and there were right-sided cerebellar signs. An ejection systolic murmur was heard, and peripheral pulses were palpable. A postmortem examination revealed cerebellar infarction due to giant cell arteritis of the anterior inferior cerebellar artery and basilar arteries. Systemic giant cell arteritis was also present. Conclusions: Giant cell arteritis is a systemic disorder that can infrequently involve intracranial vessels, including the basilar, vertebral, and anterior cerebellar arteries. Cerebellar infarction secondary to the arteritis may occur. The distribution and size of intracranial vessel involvement is distinct from isolated cranial angiitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-902
Number of pages4
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Arteritis
  • Cerebellar infarction

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