Basilar artery occlusion in children is rare. The clinical diagnosis of basilar artery occlusion is often difficult because the initial neurologic findings, most frequently hemiparesis, involuntary movements, or headache, are often transient and can suggest complicated migraine, seizures, or both. We have reviewed 37 previously reported pediatric cases of basilar artery occlusion and present 3 additional ones. In the 40 cases, basilar artery occlusion alone occurred in 22; in the other 18, there was accompanying vertebral artery occlusion. In the cases of pure basilar artery occlusion, the most common causes were trauma and arteritis, but in most such cases, the etiology could not be determined. The cause was found much more often in cases of basilar artery occlusion with accompanying vertebral artery occlusion, with trauma being the most frequent etiology, especially in boys between 6 and 14 years. Of the 37 previously reported pediatric cases of basilar artery occlusion, 7 were "locked in" early in the course (mute, quadriparetic, aware, and communicative with eye movements), as were our 3 cases. In most cases of basilar artery occlusion that are locked in, the basilar artery occlusion involves its midportion, sparing the anterior inferior cerebellar and superior cerebellar arteries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Clinical Neurology