Aim: To determine the prognostic value of brain perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in patients with aphasia after a stroke.
Methods: Brain perfusion SPECT with 99mTc-ethyl cysteinate dimer (99mTc-ECD) was used in 16 right-handed patients with aphasia after a left-sided cerebrovascular accident (CVA) in the early chronic period after the onset of CVA. The region of interest (ROI) method was used to calculate the relative regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in each cerebral lobe, the thalamus, the putamen and the cerebellum as ratios to the count in the left cerebellar hemisphere. The Standard Language Test of Aphasia (SLTA) was performed twice, once at the same time as SPECT, a mean of 2.3 months after CVA onset (early SLTA), and again a mean of 17.0 months after CVA onset (late SLTA). In addition to the overall language function score, scores for taking dictation (Dictation), oral reading (Speaking) and comprehension (Comprehension) were calculated, and the correlations with each of the rCBF values were evaluated.
Results: Left temporal CBF correlated with the late Dictation score; bilateral frontal, bilateral temporal and right parietal CBF correlated with the late Speaking score; and right frontal, left temporal and left occipital CBF correlated with the late Comprehension score.
Conclusion: Brain perfusion SPECT in the early chronic stage was shown to be useful for predicting recovery from aphasia, recovery of oral reading, ability to take dictation and comprehension.