Global aphasia due to thalamic hemorrhage: a case report and review of the literature

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996 Dec;77(12):1312-5. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(96)90199-9.


A 55-year-old patient was admitted with weakness in the right extremities and with significant language deficits. Both computed tomography (CT) and positron-emission tomography (PET) using 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose were done within 1 month and repeated at 10 months after onset. Language evaluation was done using parts of the Western Aphasia Battery (WAB) and the Boston Diagnostic Aphasia Examination (BDAE) at 1 month after admission, at 3 months, and at 10 months. The initial CT scan revealed hemorrhage in the left thalamus with edema surrounding the hemorrhage. A follow-up CT scan after 10 months showed an old hemorrhage in the left thalamus with no new lesions. The initial PET scan revealed hypometabolism in the left thalamus, and a repeat PET scan at 10 months showed reduced uptake in the left frontal, left parietal, and left temporal cortex. An initial language evaluation showed impaired auditory and reading comprehension, poor verbal expression, impaired repetition, and difficulty with naming and with sentence completion. The patient was diagnosed with global aphasia. Follow-up language evaluation at 3 months and 10 months showed only minimal improvement in his communication. Global aphasia due to lesions in the thalamic region is rare and the prognosis is poor.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aphasia / diagnosis
  • Aphasia / etiology*
  • Aphasia / psychology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / complications*
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Thalamus / blood supply*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed