Pure sensory stroke. Clinical-radiological correlates of 21 cases

Stroke. 1992 Jul;23(7):983-7. doi: 10.1161/01.str.23.7.983.


Background: Although pure sensory stroke is a relatively common lacunar syndrome, the responsible lesions are often unidentified because of their small size. I reported 21 cases of pure sensory stroke in which the lesions could be identified by head computed tomography and/or magnetic resonance imaging and correlated the clinical findings with the radiological lesions.

Summary of report: Eleven patients had thalamic strokes. Lacunes confined to the posterolateral part of the thalamus were found in nine cases, and hemorrhages of relatively large size were found in two. Five patients showed a loss of all sensory modalities, but six with very small lacunes showed minor or restricted sensory changes. Seven patients with lacunes or hemorrhages in the lenticulocapsular region or corona radiata showed abnormalities of spinothalamic tract sensation. Two patients with a small lacune and a hemorrhage in the pontine tegmentum showed a selective sensory deficit of the medial lemniscal type. One patient with a small cortical infarct showed a cortical sensory loss that was preceded by cortical sensory transient ischemic attacks.

Conclusions: Pure sensory stroke can occur with lesions in various areas of the somatosensory system. Hemisensory deficits of all modalities usually are associated with a relatively large lacune or hemorrhage in the lateral thalamus, whereas tract-specific or restricted sensory changes suggest very small strokes in the sensory pathway from the pons to the parietal cortex.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Stem
  • Cerebral Cortex
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sensation*
  • Thalamic Diseases / diagnosis
  • Thalamic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Thalamic Diseases / physiopathology
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed