Acute basal ganglia infarcts in poststroke fatigue: an MRI study

J Neurol. 2010 Feb;257(2):178-82. doi: 10.1007/s00415-009-5284-2. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Lesions located in the basal ganglia (BG) are thought to be involved in the fatigue observed in neurological disorders. However, the significance of the location of infarcts in poststroke fatigue (PSF) is unknown. This study examined the association between BG infarcts and PSF. A total of 334 Chinese patients with acute ischemic stroke consecutively admitted to the acute stroke unit of a university-affiliated regional hospital in Hong Kong participated in the study. At admission, a host of demographic and clinical characteristics was collected and the number and location of acute infarcts were evaluated with MRI. All participants were assessed for PSF with the fatigue severity scale (FSS) 3 months after their index stroke. PSF was defined as a mean FSS score of 4.0 or more. Depressive symptoms were measured by the geriatric depression scale (GDS). Seventy-eight (23.4%) patients had PSF. In the univariate analysis, the PSF group included more females, had higher GDS scores, and a higher number of acute infarcts, and the PSF patients were more likely to have acute infarcts at the BG. Acute BG infarct remained an independent predictor of PSF in the multivariate analysis. In conclusion, these results suggest that BG infarcts may play a role in the development of PSF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Basal Ganglia / pathology*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Infarction / pathology*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology*
  • China
  • Depression / pathology
  • Fatigue / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Factors
  • Stroke / pathology*