Position-Cortical Coherence as a Marker of Afferent Pathway Integrity Early Poststroke: A Prospective Cohort Study

Sarah B. Zandvliet, Erwin E.H. van Wegen, S. Floor Campfens, Herman van der Kooij, Gert Kwakkel, Carel G.M. Meskers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Addressing the role of somatosensory impairment, that is, afferent pathway integrity, in poststroke motor recovery may require neurophysiological assessment. Objective. We investigated the longitudinal construct validity of position-cortical coherence (PCC), that is, the agreement between mechanically evoked wrist perturbations and electroencephalography (EEG), as a measure of afferent pathway integrity. Methods. PCC was measured serially in 48 patients after a first-ever ischemic stroke in addition to Fugl-Meyer motor assessment of the upper extremity (FM-UE) and Nottingham Sensory Assessment hand-finger subscores (EmNSA-HF, within 3 and at 5, 12, and 26 weeks poststroke. Changes in PCC over time, represented by percentage presence of PCC (%PCC), mean amplitude of PCC over the affected (Amp-A) and nonaffected hemisphere (Amp-N) and a lateralization index (L-index), were analyzed, as well as their association with FM-UE and EmNSA-HF. Patients were retrospectively categorized based on FM-UE score at baseline and 26 weeks poststroke into high- and low-baseline recoverers and non-recoverers. Results. %PCC increased from baseline to 12 weeks poststroke (β = 1.6%, CI = 0.32% to 2.86%, P =.01), which was no longer significant after adjusting for EmNSA-HF and FM-UE. A significant positive association was found between %PCC, Amp-A, and EmNSA-HF. Low-baseline recoverers (n = 8) showed longitudinally significantly higher %PCC than high-baseline recoverers (n = 23). Conclusions. We demonstrated the longitudinal construct validity of %PCC and Amp-A as a measure of afferent pathway integrity. A high %PCC in low-baseline recoverers suggests that this measure also contains information on cortical excitability. Use of PCC as an EEG-based measure to address the role of somatosensory integrity to motor recovery poststroke requires further attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-359
Number of pages16
JournalNeurorehabilitation and neural repair
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


  • afferent pathways
  • biomarker
  • electroencephalography (EEG)
  • rehabilitation
  • stroke


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