Agenesis of the internal carotid artery (ICA) is a rare vascular anomaly that was first observed postmortem. Various anastomoses supply the distal vessels at the site of agenesis. Of these anastomoses, an intercavernous anastomosis is very rare. This paper presents a patient with ischemic stroke in whom we discovered left ICA agenesis and an ipsilateral intercavernous anastomosis. CASE:
A 58-year-old man with a history of myocardial infarction and diabetes mellitus presented with sudden-onset difficulty in speaking, numbness on the left side of the face, and weakness of the left arm and leg. Neurological examination revealed dysarthria, left facial paralysis, left hemiparesis, and bilateral absence of the plantar reflexes. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging showed a right middle cerebral artery (MCA) infarction. On cranial and cervical magnetic resonance angiography, the left ICA could not be seen distal to the bifurcation; the left MCA was supplied through an intercavernous anastomosis between the right ICA and the left ICA. Cranial computed tomography (CT) revealed the absence of the left carotid canal. Digital subtraction angiography led to a diagnosis of left ICA agenesis with an intercavernous anastomosis. The patient was discharged on acetylsalicylic acid and warfarin. CONCLUSION:
ICA agenesis with an intercavernous anastomosis is a rare vascular anomaly that should be differentiated from secondary causes of ICA stenosis and occlusions by showing agenesis of the carotid canal on cranial CT 1).