Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Case report
Republished: MRI SPACE sequence confirmation of occluded MCA M2 dissection stump masquerading as a ruptured MCA aneurysm
  1. Nicolas K Khattar1,
  2. Andrew C White2,
  3. Shawn W Adams1,
  4. Zaid S Aljuboori1,
  5. Michael J Wilder3,
  6. Richard K Downs2,
  7. Robert F James1
  1. 1 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  2. 2 Department of Radiology, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
  3. 3 PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center, Springfield, Oregon, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Robert F James, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Louisville, Kentucky, USA; robert.james{at}


Intracranial vascular pathologies often have overlapping clinical presentations. Dissected vessel occlusions and bifurcation aneurysms can appear similar on pretherapeutic imaging. The medical management of these two entities is drastically different. The patient is a 51-year-old man who presented with severe, sudden-onset headache. Initial presentation was consistent with a ruptured middle cerebral artery (MCA) aneurysm and surgical clipping was recommended. However, further review of radiographic findings could not definitively differentiate an aneurysmal origin of the symptoms as opposed to intracranial dissection followed by occlusion of the M2 branch of the MCA. MRI sampling perfection with application optimised contrasts using different flip angle evolution (SPACE) was performed and showed thin flow signalling distal to the dissected vessel stump confirming the diagnosis. Accurate diagnosis is a crucial step in directing treatment for intracranial vascular lesions. MRI SPACE is a simple tool in the diagnostic armamentarium to adequately direct treatment and avoid the potential for unnecessary interventions.

  • ct angiography
  • mri
  • artery
  • angiography
  • aneurysm

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Republished with permission from BMJ Case Reports Published 18 September 2018; doi: 10.1136/bcr-2018-013996

  • Contributors RFJ, MW and RD designed the research. NKK, AW, SWA and ZA collected the data and wrote the manuscript. All authors critically revised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval University IRB.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.