Acute Caudate Vascular Lesions
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Background and Purpose—We sought to evaluate demographic features, risk factors, clinical profiles, and behavioral abnormalities in patients with caudate lesion, either with infarct or with hemorrhage involving the caudate nucleus.
Methods—We studied all patients with acute caudate stroke confirmed by CT or MRI who were admitted to our stroke unit over a 5-year period. A database containing risk factors, clinical features, type and mechanism of stroke, and caudate vascular territories was analyzed.
Results—Thirty-one patients had acute caudate stroke (24 men and 7 women; mean age, 62.3 years). Caudate infarct was present in 25 patients and caudate hemorrhage in 6. The main risk factors for caudate infarct were hypertension (64%), hypercholesterolemia (32%), diabetes mellitus (28%), and previous myocardial infarct (20%). Hypertension was present in 4 patients (67%) with caudate hemorrhage, and arteriovenous malformation was present in 1 patient (17%). Small-artery disease was diagnosed in 14 patients (59%), cardiac embolism in 5 patients (20%), and large-artery disease in 2 patients (8%), and 2 patients (8%) had mixed etiology. The most frequent neurological abnormalities were abulia and psychic akinesia (48%), frontal system abnormalities (26%), speech deficits in patients with left-sided lesions (23%), and neglect syndromes in those with right-sided lesions (10%). Fifteen patients with caudate infarct (60%) and 3 patients with hemorrhage (50%) were able to return to normal daily life. Patients with infarct in the territory of the lateral lenticulostriate arteries extending to neighboring structures showed more frequent motor and neuropsychological deficits than those with infarct in the territory of the anterior lenticulostriate arteries.
Conclusions—The clinical presentation of patients with caudate hemorrhage mimicked subarachnoid hemorrhage with or without motor and neuropsychological signs. Caudate vascular lesions with concomitant neighboring structure involvement represent a specific stroke syndrome, usually caused by small-artery disease and in one fifth of the patients caused by cardiac embolism. The behavioral abnormalities were mostly due to medial, lateral, and ventral caudate subnuclei damage and coexisting lesion of the anterior limb of the internal capsule.
- Received July 3, 1998.
- Revision received September 28, 1998.
- Accepted September 28, 1998.
- Copyright © 1999 by American Heart Association