Longitudinal Cortical Volume Changes Correlate With Motor Recovery in Patients After Acute Local Subcortical Infarction
Background and Purpose—Secondary changes in the volume of motor-related cortical regions and the relationship with functional recovery during the acute stage after cerebral infarction have not been determined. In the present study, we quantified changes in gray matter (GM) volume in motor-related cortical regions and analyzed their correlations to clinical scores in patients with focal cerebral infarct.
Methods—Fifteen patients with acute subcortical infarct underwent longitudinal high-resolution structural MRI and clinical assessment 3 times during a 12-week period (weeks 1, 4, and 12). Fourteen age- and sex-matched controls underwent MRI examination. Voxel-based morphometry was used to quantify changes in global GM volume; in addition, relationships between GM volume changes in volumes of interest and clinical scores were analyzed.
Results—In patients with cerebral infarction, GM volumes detected by voxel-based morphometry both decreased and increased significantly in diffuse cortical regions during the observation period (P<0.001). GM volumes within volumes of interest decreased significantly in the ipsilateral supplementary motor area and contralateral insula, but they increased in the contralateral supplementary motor area over time (all P<0.017). The changes of GM volumes in the ipsilesional and contralesional supplementary motor area correlated with the changes in the Fugl–Meyer scale scores (ipsilesional, rs=0.52; P=0.048; contralesional, rs=0.74; P=0.002) and Barthel Index (ipsilesional, rs=0.56; P=0.030; contralesional, rs=0.65; P=0.009).
Conclusions—These results suggest that secondary GM changes occur in diffuse areas and structural changes in some specific motor-related cortex may inhibit or promote functional recovery after an acute subcortical cerebral infarct.
- Received January 30, 2013.
- Revision received June 14, 2013.
- Accepted July 2, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.