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Neonatal arterial stroke location is associated with outcome at 2 years: a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping study


Objective In contrast to motor impairments, the association between lesion location and cognitive or language deficits in patients with neonatal arterial ischaemic stroke remains largely unknown. We conducted a voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping cross-sectional study aiming to reveal neonatal arterial stroke location correlates of language, motor and cognitive outcomes at 2 years of age.

Design Prospective observational multicentre study.

Setting Six paediatric university hospitals in Spain.

Participants We included 53 patients who had a neonatal arterial ischaemic stroke with neonatal MRI and who were followed up till 2 years of age.

Main outcome measures We analysed five dichotomous clinical variables: speech therapy (defined as the need for speech therapy as established by therapists), gross motor function impairment, and the language, motor and cognitive Bayley scales. All the analyses were controlled for total lesion volume.

Results We found that three of the clinical variables analysed significantly correlated with neonatal stroke location. Speech therapy was associated with lesions located mainly at the left supramarginal gyrus (p=0.007), gross motor function impairment correlated with lesions at the left external capsule (p=0.044) and cognitive impairment was associated with frontal lesions, particularly located at the left inferior and middle frontal gyri (p=0.012).

Conclusions The identification of these susceptible brain areas will allow for more precise prediction of neurological impairments on the basis of neonatal brain MRI.

  • neonatology
  • neurology

Data availability statement

All data used in this study are available upon reasonable request.

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