Computed tomographic changes in lacunar syndromes.


BACKGROUND:Lacunes are small deep infarcts due to occlusion of long-perforating arterial branches. The clinical presentation and outcome are variable. The present study investigates the prognostic value of comparing repeated computed tomographic (CT) scans in patients with a lacunar syndrome (LACS). PATIENTS AND METHODS:From a series of 220 patients, subsequently admitted with a first-ever stroke, 32 were diagnosed as LACS. CT scans without contrast enhancement were performed on day 3 and 10 after onset of the symptoms. A lacune was considered as responsible for the LACS when its location corresponded to the expected cerebral hemisphere and when it changed in size and/or in X-ray attenuation on the CT scans from day 3 to 10. The size of the lacune was also measured and compared on both time points. The patients were divided into two groups according to the modified Rankin (R) scale at 3 months, in those who were independent (R 0-1-2) and in those who remained handicapped (R 3-4-5). RESULTS:The patients who remained disabled at 3 months were older and more severely impaired on admission, and had more frequent cardiac problems and cognitive decline than the independent ones. On CT scans of the brain a higher incidence of leukoaraiosis was observed in this group. Only in three patients of each group no relevant lacune could be observed both on day 3 and 10. The average size of the symptomatic lacune on day 3 and 10 was not statistically different between both groups, when comparing all patients with a LACS. When comparing only those patients with a visible symptomatic lacunar infarct on one of the CT scans, however, the average size of the symptomatic deep infarct was smaller in the independent than the handicapped patients on day 3 as well as on day 10. The lacune decreased in average size from day 3 to 10 in the former group but remained unchanged in the group of disabled patients. CONCLUSION:The outcome of patients with a LACS depends on several factors including age, cognitive and cardiac status, the presence of leukoaraiosis and also the size of the symptomatic lacune.


Clin Neurol Neurosurg


De Reuck J,Hemelsoet D,Nieuwenhuis L,Van Maele G





Has Abstract


2005-12-01 00:00:00














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