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Early space-occupying cerebellar oedema requiring decompressive craniectomy following a clinically minor stroke
  1. Branko Borojevic1 and
  2. Philip M C Choi1,2
  1. 1Department of Neurosciences, Eastern Health, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Branko Borojevic; borojevicbranko2{at}


We describe a patient presented with clinically a small cerebellar ischaemic stroke but required emergency decompression within 24 hours of symptoms onset after incidental finding of severe mass effect on imaging without any change in her mild clinical symptoms. Her initial multimodal acute stroke imaging, non-contrast CT of the brain and CT angiography from aortic arch to vertex were normal. CT perfusion showed a very small deficit only. The malignant mass effect was picked on an MRI scan performed routinely as part of a clinical trial, 32 hours after stroke. Our case highlights stroke evolution, and mass effect may be insidious and faster than anticipated in the posterior fossa. Cerebellar stroke of any severity diagnosed clinically and radiologically may benefit from routine follow-up imaging at 24 hours from onset.

  • stroke
  • neuroimaging
  • neurosurgery
  • brain stem / cerebellum

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  • Contributors BB—planning, conduct, reporting, conception and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data. PMCC—planning, conception and design, analysis and interpretation of data, editing.

  • 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.