Magnetic Resonance Image Correlates of Hemiparesis After Neonatal and Childhood Middle Cerebral Artery Stroke

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Authors: Mary Ann RutherfordEugenio MercuriDawn Elizabeth SaundersJames P Boardmanvijeya ganesanFrances Cowan
Year: 2005
Times cited: 131

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Magnetic Resonance Image Correlates of Hemiparesis After Neonatal and Childhood Middle Cerebral Artery Stroke


OBJECTIVE: Motor impairment after neonatal and childhood-onset ischemic stroke (IS) is common, although the prevalence and type of hemiparesis differs between the 2 age groups. Lesion topography is an important predictor of hemiparesis after neonatal IS, but it is not known if the same topographic predictors of adverse motor outcome apply to childhood-onset IS. We used a consistent approach to define lesion topography and evaluate motor outcome in both age groups to (1) investigate whether early topographic predictors of hemiparesis after unilateral middle cerebral artery-territory stroke are the same in neonates and older children and (2) compare the prevalence of dystonia and loss of independent finger movements between the 2 age groups.

DESIGN: Twenty-eight patients with neonatal-onset IS (Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom) were studied together with 43 patients with childhood-onset IS (Great Ormond Street Hospital, London, United Kingdom). All patients had exclusive unilateral middle cerebral artery-territory IS. Lesion topography was studied by using the first magnetic resonance image acquired after the onset of symptoms and was coded for involvement of cerebral cortex (CC), posterior limb of the internal capsule (PLIC), basal ganglia (BG), and white matter. The primary outcome was hemiparesis, and secondary outcomes were dystonia and loss of age-appropriate independent finger movements.

RESULTS: Hemiparesis was more common after childhood-onset IS (56%) than neonatal-onset IS (24%). In neonatal-onset IS, concomitant involvement of BG, CC, and PLIC predicts the development of hemiparesis (odds ratio: 99; 95% confidence interval: 5.2-1883.8), and no child with 1 or 2 of these structures involved developed hemiparesis. In contrast, in childhood-onset IS, concomitant BG, CC, and PLIC lesions tended to be associated with hemiparesis (9 of 11), but this adverse outcome was seen also among patients with 1- or 2-site involvement. However, hemiparesis was less likely if the infarction involved BG only (odds ratio: 0.162; 95% confidence interval: 0.036-0.729). Dystonia was present in 15 of 24 in the childhood-onset group with hemiparesis but was not seen after neonatal-onset IS. In both age groups upper-limb impairment was more severe than lower-limb impairment, with frequent loss of independent hand function among hemiparetic patients.

CONCLUSIONS: In neonatal and childhood-onset IS, early magnetic resonance imaging provides useful prognostic information about subsequent motor outcome. There are differences in the functional response of the neuromotor system to injury between the 2 age groups that cannot be attributed to methodological differences alone.

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