Locked in or Break Out?


Basilar artery occlusion accounts for approximately 1 % of all strokes and is a neurological emergency associated with a very poor outcome. The associated mortality is up to 90 %. Basilar artery occlusion can initially present with mild prodromal symptoms however this is usually followed by more devastating symptoms including quadriparesis, reduced consciousness, cranial nerve and visual symptoms, dysarthria, dysphagia and ‘locked-in syndrome’. These cases are challenging because there is limited evidence to guide physicians in their management decisions. However, successful recanalization is associated with better results and increasing numbers of patients are surviving with antithrombotic therapy, thrombolysis and endovascular techniques.


Basilar artery thrombosis Posterior circulation ischaemia Thrombolysis Thrombectomy Endovascular intervention Clot retrieval Locked-in syndrome 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Stroke Research Group, Department of Brain Repair and RehabilitationUCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, National Hospital for Neurology and NeurosurgeryLondonUK

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