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Clinico-radiological factors associated with aphasia outcome in post stroke patients: A prospective follow up study from eastern part of India.

BACKGROUND: Aphasia is a language disorder acquired secondary to brain damage. This study aims to evaluate clinical and radiological profile of patients with post stroke aphasia and factors affecting its recovery.

METHODS: We conducted a prospective study of patients with first left Middle or Anterior Cerebral Artery infarct or Intracerebral Hemorrhage (ICH) with aphasia admitted within 14 days of stroke onset. Aphasia Quotient (AQ) was assessed at 2 weeks (AQ1) and 3 months (AQ2) using Western Aphasia Battery-Hindi version. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of brain with Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) of bilateral Arcuate Fasciculus (AF) and Corticospinal Tract was done at admission, and stroke volume, Laterality Indices of Fractional Anisotropy (LI-FA), Mean Diffusivity (LI-MD), Radial Diffusivity (LI-RD), Axial Diffusivity (LI-AD) and Apparent Diffusion Coefficient (LI-ADC) were obtained.

RESULTS: 36 patients [8 ICH and 28 Acute Ischemic Stroke (AIS)] were included. AQ1 and AQ2 were significantly higher in subcortical stroke than cortical. AQ2 and increase in AQ scores (including its subscores) were significantly higher in ICH than AIS. National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score at admission and volume of stroke had significant negative correlation with AQ1 and AQ2. Laterality Index of Fractional Anisotropy of Arcuate Fasciculus [LI-FA (AF)] had significant positive correlation with AQ2 and naming score at 3 months. Laterality Index of Mean Diffusivity of Arcuate Fasciculus [LI-MD (AF)] had significant negative correlation with AQ1, AQ2 and all subcomponents of AQ2. Significant positive correlation was seen between improvements in Modified Rankin Scale score and AQ.

CONCLUSION: The study shows that DTI can be used to predict severity of aphasia at follow up and recovery in language and motor functions occur in parallel.

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