Misdiagnosis of Cerebellar Infarctions

Navdeep Sangha, Karen C. Albright, Hui Peng, Farhaan Vahidy, Amelia Boehme, Zhongxue Chen, Sean I. Savitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: This retrospective study addresses for the first time the differences in clinical features and outcomes between those individuals with a cerebellar infarct who were correctly diagnosed on initial presentation compared to those who experienced delayed diagnosis. Methods: A retrospective review was conducted of our stroke registry from 09/2003 to 02/2011. Forty seven patients had an isolated cerebellar infarction confirmed by MRI. Misdiagnosis was defined as the diagnosis given by the first physician. Results: Among 47 patients identified, 59.6% had delayed diagnosis. Five patients in the correct diagnosis group received intravenous tissue plasminogen activator, compared to none in the delayed diagnosis group. Complaints of weakness were protective from delayed diagnosis (OR 0.087, 95% CI 0.019-0.393, p=0.001). Conclusion : Patients with an isolated cerebellar infarction need to be considered when patients present with acute non-specific symptoms. Critical components of the neurological examination are omitted which are imperative to diagnose cerebellar infarcts. A thorough neurological examination may increase clinical suspicion of an ischemic stroke.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-571
Number of pages4
JournalCanadian Journal of Neurological Sciences
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2014


  • Stroke
  • clinical assessment
  • diagnosis
  • effectiveness
  • emergency department management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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