Three-Dimensional Map of Neonatal Arterial Ischemic Stroke Distribution From Early Multimodal Brain Imaging

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Background and Purpose—

Although neonatal arterial ischemic stroke (NAIS) location has considerable impact on long-term outcome, a map showing spatial distribution of NAIS is lacking. Our aim was to generate this distribution map, based on early magnetic resonance imaging data.


Lesions from 34 consecutive neonates with NAIS from a single center were segmented using multimodal magnetic resonance imaging (median age at acquisition =5 days). Lesion masks for all subjects were registered onto a standard neonatal brain and then overlaid to generate a 3D map of NAIS distribution.


The region posterior to the central sulcus is the most frequently affected in neonates, with 24 of the 34 neonates (71%) showing lesions in this region in at least one hemisphere. Moreover, NAIS frequency is markedly higher in the left hemisphere.


This is the first report of an NAIS distribution map. Regions posterior to the central sulcus present increased vulnerability. Our findings suggest that motor areas are not as frequently affected as has been previously reported. By contrast, we find high NAIS vulnerability in functional areas related to language. The distribution of ischemic strokes in neonates seems to be different from that seen in adults.

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