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Movement disorders in ischemic stroke: clinical study of 22 patients

L D'Olhaberriague, A Arboix, J L Martí-Vilalta, A Moral, J Massons
European Journal of Neurology 1995, 2 (6): 553-7
Movement disorders (bemichorea-hemiballismus, hemidystonia and isolated tremor) are an uncommon clinical manifestation in ischemic stroke (IS), and their anatomical basis is poorly understood. We analyzed the clinical and neuroimaging characteristics of 22 consecutive patients who bad movement disorders associated with cerebral infarction (MDCI), studied at four institutions over 8 years. In one institution (from the La Alianza-Central Hospital of Barcelona Stroke Registry) nine patients with MDCI were identified among 1099 consecutive first ever stroke patients (0.8%) (908 with IS, 1%). Fifteen out of 22 patients (68%) had hemichorea-hemiballismus, five (23%) hemidystonia and two (9%) isolated tremor. MDCI were more often left sided (n = 15, 68%), being bilateral in one patient (4.5%). A lesion was found on neuroimaging (CT and/or MRI) in 15 patients (68%), in the territory of the posterior cerebral artery (n = 8) and middle cerebral artery (six deep and one superficial). The most commonly involved structure was the thalamus (n = 8, 36.5%). IS subtypes were; presumed lacunar infarcts in 14 patients (64%), atherothrombotic infarcts in two patients (9%), cardioembolic infarcts in two patients (9%) and infarcts of unknown etiology in four patients (18%). Hemichorea-hemiballismus was the most common type of MDCI in our study, usually being the result of a thalamic infarction. The thalamus was the most frequently damaged structure underlying all types of MDCI. There was a striking propensity of MDCI which resulted from nondominant deep hemispheric small vessel infarctions.


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