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December 1989

Evidence for Transhemispheric Diaschisis in Unilateral Stroke

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Neurology (Drs Dobkin, Levine, Lagreze, and Dulli), Radiology (Drs Levine and Nickles), Medical Physics (Dr Nickles), and Nuclear Medicine (Dr Dobkin and Mr Rowe), William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital and University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison.

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(12):1333-1336. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520480077023

• Nineteen patients with strictly unilateral ischemic stroke as determined by clinical examination, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and standard angiography underwent cerebral blood flow (CBF) analysis using fluorine 18 fluoromethane and positron emission tomography. Mean flow values for averaged hemispheric, infarct, and homologous contralateral regions of interest (Rols) were determined. All patient CBF values were significantly below comparable CBF Rols in neurologically normal controls using Wilcoxon's two-sample rank testing. Multiple regression analysis disclosed a significant correlation between contralateral CBF and both localized CBF in the infarct ROI and patient age. Correlations between contralateral CBF and dependency score or severity of neurologic deficit at time of positron emission tomography, expired Pco2, mean arterial blood pressure, serum glucose or hematocrit, risk factor score, and number of days studied after stroke were not statistically significant. Although we did not identify the biologic mechanisms involved, we conclude that CBF reduction contralateral to a strictly unilateral ischemic infarction is due to a combination of aging and transhemispheric diaschisis.