Contralesional Brain Activity in Acute Ischemic Stroke

Ruud C. Van Kaam, Michel J.A.M. Van Putten, Sarah E. Vermeer, Jeannette Hofmeijer* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: The noninjured, contralateral hemisphere is increasingly acknowledged in the process of recovery from acute ischemic stroke. We estimated the value of conventional electroencephalography (EEG) recordings for identifying contralateral hemisphere involvement in relation to functional recovery. Methods: We analyzed 2-min epochs from 21 electrode EEG registrations of 18 patients with acute hemispheric ischemic stroke and compared with 18 age-matched controls. Outcome was dichotomized as good (modified Rankin Scale [mRS] 0-2) or poor (mRS 3-5 or death) at 3 months. Effects of the infarct on the ipsi-and contralateral hemispheres were analyzed by the delta/alpha ratio (DAR) and 2 measures of functional connectivity (magnitude squared coherence [MSC] and weighted phase lag index [WPLI]). Results: DAR was higher in patients than in controls, both in the ipsilateral and in the contralateral hemisphere (median 4.5 ± 6.7 ipsilateral and 2.4 ± 2.0 contralateral vs. 0.5 ± 0.5 in the control group, p < 0.001), indicating robust EEG changes in both lesioned and non-lesioned hemisphere. MSC and WPLI in the alpha and beta frequency bands were lower in patients than in controls in both hemispheres, indicating clear disturbances of functional connectivity (p < 0.05). In the poor outcome group, contralateral MSC and WPLI were lower than in the good outcome group, although these differences did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: Short conventional EEG measurements show robust changes of brain activity and functional connectivity in both ipsilateral and contralateral hemispheres of patients with acute ischemic stroke. Changes of remote functional connectivity tend to interact with functional recovery. Future studies should estimate predictive values for individual patients and interactions with plasticity enhancing treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-92
Number of pages8
JournalCerebrovascular diseases
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Contralateral hemisphere
  • Electroencephalography
  • Functional connectivity
  • Ischemic stroke
  • Cerebral infarction


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