Monica Smith Pearl, Rafael Tamargo and Philippe Gailloud
The angiographic appearance of an intracranial arterial occlusion is typically distinct from that of a saccular aneurysm, with only a few reported cases of occlusion simulating aneurysm. At the same time, a small percentage of symptomatic intracranial aneurysms present with a stroke. Accurate diagnosis of these conditions is crucial, as their treatment differs. The authors report on a case of middle cerebral artery occlusion that mimicked the appearance of an aneurysm on angiography in the setting of acute stroke. The true diagnosis was not elucidated until repeated angiography 6 months later revealed recanalization of the previously occluded middle cerebral artery branch. This angiographic pitfall is important to consider when acute stroke is suspected as the mode of presentation of a saccular aneurysm.