3 years ago

Clinical and Neuroimaging Findings in Thalamic Territory Infarctions: A Review

Harpreet Sahwney, Yogesh Kumar, Shuo Li, Manisha Mangla, Nishant Gupta, Anil Kumar, Rajiv Mangla, Ahmed Abdelbaki


The thalamus is a part of the diencephalon, containing numerous connections between the forebrain and subcortical structures. It serves an important function as a relay center between the cerebral cortex and the subcortical regions, particularly with sensory information. The thalamus also plays a major role in regulating arousal and the levels of awareness. Distinct vascular distribution of the thalamus give rises to different syndromic presentation of thalamic nuclei infarcts. The clinical records and available imaging studies of patients with confirmed thalamic territory infarcts on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the University Hospital of Rochester were reviewed and analyzed. This analysis was then used to provide an effective summary of thalamic vascular anatomy, the clinical symptoms, and syndromes associated with strokes in the affected territories. Specifically, we review the syndromes associated with classic vascular territories, including the anterior, paramedian, inferolateral, and posterior thalamic nuclei, that are supplied by the polar (tuberothalamic), paramedian, inferolateral (thalamogeniculate), and posterior choroidal arteries, respectively. In addition, we will also review the variant thalamic territories and associated infarction syndromes of the anteromedian, central, and posterolateral territories. This review article is aimed to better the clinical and radiologic understanding as well as the diagnosis of classic and variant thalamic territory infarcts. This article will also briefly touch on the recovery of function after thalamic infarcts.

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