In order to assess the incidence of acute cerebrovascular events, 142 patients with adult polycystic kidney disease were retrospectively reviewed. Fourteen patients (9.8%) had 19 cerebral attacks. Six patients (4.2%) had intracranial haemorrhage attacks (three ruptured intracranial aneurysms and three cerebral haemorrhages). Ischaemic events occurred in nine patients (five cerebral infarctions and four transient ischaemic attacks). Patients with ischaemic attacks had a better outcome than patients with haemorrhagic events even when transient ischaemic attacks were excluded. Patients with ruptured intracranial aneurysms were younger. Cerebral complications are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with adult polycystic kidney disease. They can prove disabling prior to or after dialysis and transplantation.
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