Background and Purpose The clinical features of thalamic hemorrhage in terms of localization are of great interest in many studies. To better understand the relationship between the localization of thalamic hemorrhage and clinical features, we evaluated the characteristics of patients with four different topographic types of thalamic hemorrhage.
Methods We prospectively studied 100 patients with thalamic hemorrhage who were admitted consecutively to our primary care unit. We divided them into two groups according to large (>2 cm in diameter and/or >4 mL in volume) and small thalamic hemorrhage. Four topographic subgroups (large and small) were compared to identify clinical syndromes associated with distinct lesion locations.
Results All patients with posterolateral thalamic hemorrhage had severe sensorimotor deficit. Neuropsychological disturbances in patients with posterolateral thalamic hemorrhage were prominent, with primarily transcortical aphasia in those with left-sided lesions and hemineglect and anosognosia in those with right-sided lesions. Several variants of vertical gaze dysfunction, skew ocular deviation, gaze preference toward the site of the lesion, and miotic pupils were frequent in posterolateral thalamic hemorrhage, particularly in the large type. Patients with small and large anterolateral thalamic hemorrhage were characterized by severe motor and sensory deficits; language and oculomotor disturbances were also observed, although less frequently than in posterolateral hemorrhage. Sensorimotor deficits were observed in patients with medial thalamic hemorrhage (moderate in small hemorrhages and severe in large hemorrhages because of involvement of the adjacent internal capsule). Language disturbances in patients with left-sided lesions and neglect in patients with right-sided lesions were seen only in large medial thalamic hemorrhage. Dorsal thalamic hemorrhage was rare and characterized by mild and transient sensorimotor disturbances. Among patients with dorsal thalamic hemorrhages, only those with large lesions had oculomotor and neuropsychological disturbances.
Conclusions We concluded that despite clinical similarity among the four types of thalamic hemorrhage, there was some discrepancy in the clinical features of small and large thalamic hemorrhages. The most important predictors of death were initial consciousness, nuchal rigidity, maximum size, volume and ventricular extension of hemorrhage, and occurrence of hydrocephalus.
- Received December 23, 1994.
- Revision received February 16, 1995.
- Accepted March 10, 1995.
- Copyright © 1995 by American Heart Association