Etiology of stroke in patients with Wernicke's aphasia

Stroke. 1989 Dec;20(12):1730-2. doi: 10.1161/01.str.20.12.1730.


We reviewed 49 patients with Wernicke's aphasia resulting from a stroke. Their aphasia was classified on the basis of comprehensive neuropsychological testing. Wernicke's aphasia was more common in older patients and in men. Cerebral infarction occurred in 38 patients (78%) and intracerebral hemorrhage in seven (14%); the remaining four patients (8%) developed aphasia after surgery for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Embolic events were the most common etiology of Wernicke's aphasia in the 38 patients with cerebral infarction, with cardiac emboli in 40% and large-vessel atheroemboli from a carotid source in 16%. In patients with Wernicke's aphasia secondary to infarction, an embolic source should be sought. Patients with Wernicke's aphasia should have computed tomography to exclude intracerebral hemorrhage before institution of anticoagulant therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Amyloidosis / complications
  • Aphasia / etiology*
  • Aphasia, Wernicke / etiology*
  • Arterial Occlusive Diseases / complications
  • Cerebral Arteries
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications
  • Cerebral Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / complications
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / complications
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / surgery
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed