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Basilar artery thrombosis
  1. David Grundy1,
  2. Jessica Redgrave2,
  3. George Tse3
  1. 1 Biomedical Science, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK
  2. 2 Neurology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  3. 3 Radiology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jessica Redgrave, Neurology, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield, UK; jessica.redgrave{at}

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I had been retired from my position as Professor of Biomedical Science for 16 days in August 2020 before I suffered a basilar artery occlusion (figure 1). It is ironic when you consider that I had worked on brainstem control mechanisms for over four decades and here I was having mine nearly wiped mine out. I had been experiencing dizziness and double vision for a few days, which I put down to labyrinthitis. However, my symptoms deteriorated and my wife took me to the Emergency Department. It was there that I realised something was seriously wrong. I had lost my ability to swallow saliva and I was taken by ambulance to the stroke unit at the Hallamshire hospital. I was given a swallow assessment, which I failed completely, and the last thing I remember was spilling the contents of a spittoon I had been given.

Figure 1

(A) Unenhanced CT cerebral angiogram showing a hyperdense basilar artery (white arrow) with no established infarction. (B) Contrast-enhanced CT angiogram confirmed a proximal basilar occlusion (white arrow) with patency of the mid to distal third; there was a large-calibre right posterior communicating artery that presumably provided collateral supply to the posterior circulation. (C) 3D reconstruction (posterior view) showed the extent of occlusion (broken red line). (D) digital subtraction angiogram identified a proximal basilar artery occlusion (white arrow) with little flow in the intradural vertebral artery. (E) A residual stenosis with thrombosis (white arrow) remained after vacuum aspiration. The vessel patency improved after …

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  • Contributors All authors contributed to the preparation of the manuscript and agreed the final draft.

  • 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.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned. Externally peer reviewed by Robin Howard, London, UK.

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