Post-Stroke Cognitive Impairment is Frequent After Infra-Tentorial Infarct

J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2021 Dec;30(12):106108. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2021.106108. Epub 2021 Sep 20.


Background and purpose: Post-stroke cognitive impairment is a common and well-known consequence of supra-tentorial infarct, but its prevalence and severity after infra-tentorial infarct is unclear. We compared the frequencies and prognostic value of domain-specific cognitive deficits after supra-tentorial and infra-tentorial infarct.

Methods: In a consecutive cohort of patients with first-ever stroke (N = 244) admitted to Helsinki University Hospital, 37 patients had an infra-tentorial infarct. Patients were assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological examination 3 months post-stroke covering 9 cognitive domains and functional disability was assessed at 15 months with the modified Rankin Scale.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences between the frequencies of cognitive deficits in patients with infra-tentorial vs supra-tentorial infarct. Altogether 73% of patients with infra-tentorial infarct and 82% of patients with supra-tentorial infarct had impairment in at least one cognitive domain. Further 42% of patients with infra-tentorial infarct and 47% of those with supra-tentorial infarct had deficits in 3 or more cognitive domains. In patients with infra-tentorial infarct, visuo-constructional deficits were significantly associated with functional disability at 15 months (OR 9.0, 95%CI 1.3-62.5, p = 0.027). In patients with supratentorial infarct, executive deficits (OR 2.9, 95%CI 1.5-5.8, p = 0.002) and visuo-constructional deficits (OR 2.9, 95%CI 1.5-5.7, p = 0.001) showed associations with functional disability at 15 months.

Conclusion: Cognitive deficits are as common in patients with infra-tentorial infarct as in those with supra-tentorial infarct, and it is important to recognize them to meet the needs of rehabilitation.

Keywords: Brain stem infarction; Cerebellar infarction; Cognitive functions; Stroke.

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infarction* / epidemiology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Stroke* / complications
  • Stroke* / physiopathology