Cerebellar infarction in adolescent males associated with acute marijuana use.

Thomas Geller, Laura Loftis, David S. Brink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To demonstrate the clinical characteristics, radiologic findings, and neuropathological features of tetrahydrocannabinol-related posterior fossa ischemic stroke in adolescent patients. DESIGN: A retrospective case and chart review of 3 cases encountered at a tertiary care institution over a span of 5 years. SETTING: Inpatient and intensive care hospitalization units managing children and adolescents. SUBJECTS: Male adolescent patients with ischemic cerebellar stroke after use of marijuana. DIAGNOSTIC INVESTIGATIONS: Computed tomography brain scans (3 subjects), magnetic resonance imaging brain study (1 subject), cerebral arteriography (1 subject), cerebellar biopsy (1 subject), and necropsy (2 subjects). RESULTS: Three adolescent males had similar presentations of headache, fluctuating level of consciousness or lethargy, visual disturbance, and variable ataxia after self-administration of marijuana. They developed primary cerebellar infarctions within days after the exposure that could not be attributed to supratentorial herniation syndromes and only minimally involved brainstem structures. CONCLUSIONS: Episodic marijuana use may represent a risk factor for stroke in childhood, particularly in the posterior circulation. Early recognition of the cerebellar stroke syndrome may allow prompt neurosurgical intervention, reducing morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e365-370
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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