Cerebral infarction in sickle cell anemia: Mechanism based on CT and MRI

R. J. Adams, F. T. Nichols, V. McKie, K. McKie, P. Milner, T. E. Gammal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


We studied 25 patients with sickle cell anemia and cerebral infarction. We classified lesions as to probable mechanism (large versus small vessel disease) based on the CT/MRI appearance of established infarction. Most patients had CT/ MRI patterns of major cerebral vessel occlusion (41%) or borderzone (distal insufficiency) infarcts (31%) best explained by large cerebral vessel vasculopathy. Seven of 25 (28%) had either isolated subcortical (12%) or small cortical branch occlusion (16%) consistent with other mechanisms such as small vessel occlusion or embolism. These results suggest that most clinically recognized cerebral infarctions in sickle cell anemia are caused by large vessel disease, but this mechanism may not account for symptoms of cerebral ischemia in all cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1012-1017
Number of pages6
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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