Does Contralesional Hand Function After Neonatal Stroke Only Depend on Lesion Characteristics?

Stroke. 2016 Jun;47(6):1647-50. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.116.013545. Epub 2016 May 10.


Background and purpose: In children having suffered from neonatal arterial ischemic stroke, the relationship between contralesional hand performance and structural changes in brain areas remote from the infarct site was examined.

Methods: Using voxel-based morphometry, we correlated contralesional gross manual dexterity assessed by the box and block test and whole-brain gray and white-matter volume changes on high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging in 37 7-year-old post-neonatal arterial ischemic stroke children. We also compared the volume of the identified structures with magnetic resonance imaging data of 10 typically developing age-matched children.

Results: Areas showing the highest positive correlation with the box and block test scores were ipsilesional mediodorsal thalamus, contralesional cerebellar lobule VIIa Crus I, and ipsilesional corticospinal tract at the level of superior corona radiata, the posterior limb of the internal capsule, and the cerebral peduncle and the ipsilesional body of corpus callosum. When compared with typically developing age-matched children, post-neonatal arterial ischemic stroke children with severe contralesional hand motor deficit exhibited significant volume reductions in these structures (except the cerebellum), whereas no differences were found with those with good manual dexterity. No negative correlation was found between box and block test scores and brain areas.

Conclusions: Contralesional hand performance after neonatal arterial ischemic stroke is correlated with atrophy in brain areas directly or functionally connected but anatomically remote from the infarct. Our study suggests a role of the cerebellar lobule VIIa Crus I and mediodorsal thalamus in manual dexterity.

Clinical trial registration: URL: Unique identifier: NCT02511249.

Keywords: atrophy; cerebral palsy; cerebral peduncle; dexterity; magnetic resonance imaging; motor system; stroke.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain Ischemia / complications*
  • Brain Ischemia / pathology
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Gray Matter / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hand / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills / physiology*
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / pathology
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • White Matter / diagnostic imaging*

Associated data