Successful treatment of an acute thrombosis of an intracranial vertebral artery endarterectomy with urokinase

Michael Kerin Morgan*, Verity Grinnell, Nicholas S. Little, Maurice Jerome Day

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


THIS IS A case report of a 47-year-old man admitted with a 7-month history of disequilibrium, multiple reversible vertebrobasilar ischemic attacks, and one submaximal completed stroke in the left posterior inferior cerebellar artery distribution. Vertebrobasilar ischemic attacks continued despite anticoagulation, and orthostatic symptomatology suggested a significant hemodynamic component contributing to the posterior circulation ischemia. Angiography confirmed bilateral high-grade stenoses of the intracranial vertebral arteries. A right intracranial vertebral artery endarterectomy was performed with electroencephalographic and somatosensory evoked potential monitoring and protection with barbiturate infusion. The arteriotomy was closed with a vein patch. Postoperatively, the endarterectomy site thrombosed. This thrombosis was completely reversed with 220,000 U of urokinase selectively infused intra-arterially at the site of thrombosis. This procedure was not complicated by hemorrhage or distal embolization. The vertebral artery was confirmed to be patent 24 hours and 7 days after the urokinase injection. The patient sustained a borderzone infarction in the right cerebellar hemisphere without neurological deficits and was discharged home well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)978-981
Number of pages4
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Endarterectomy
  • Thrombolysis
  • Urokinase
  • Vertebral artery


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