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Clinical presentation of strokes confined to the insula: a systematic review of literature

Di Stefano, V; De Angelis, MV; Montemitro, C; Russo, M; Carrarini, C; di Giannantonio, M; Brighina, F; ... Simister, R; + view all (2021) Clinical presentation of strokes confined to the insula: a systematic review of literature. Neurological Sciences 10.1007/s10072-021-05109-1. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The insular cortex serves a wide variety of functions in humans, ranging from sensory and affective processing to high-level cognition. Hence, insular dysfunction may result in several different presentations. Ischemic strokes limited to the insular territory are rare and deserve a better characterization, to be quickly recognized and to receive the appropriate treatment (e.g. thrombolysis). METHODS: We reviewed studies on patients with a first-ever acute stroke restricted to the insula. We searched in the Medline database the keywords "insular stroke" and "insular infarction", to identify previously published cases. Afterwards, the results were divided depending on the specific insular region affected by the stroke: anterior insular cortex (AIC), posterior insular cortex (PIC) or total insula cortex (TIC). Finally, a review of the clinical correlates associated with each region was performed. RESULTS: We identified 25 reports including a total of 49 patients (59.7 ± 15.5 years, 48% male) from systematic review of the literature. The most common clinical phenotypes were motor and somatosensory deficits, dysarthria, aphasia and a vestibular-like syndrome. Atypical presentations were also common and included dysphagia, awareness deficits, gustatory disturbances, dysautonomia, neuropsychiatric or auditory disturbances and headache. CONCLUSIONS: The clinical presentation of insular strokes is heterogeneous; however, an insular stroke should be suspected when vestibular-like, somatosensory, speech or language disturbances are combined in the same patient. Further studies are needed to improve our understanding of more atypical presentations.

Type: Article
Title: Clinical presentation of strokes confined to the insula: a systematic review of literature
Location: Italy
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s10072-021-05109-1
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10072-021-05109-1
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Cerebrovascular disease, Insular dysfunction, Insular stroke, Insular syndromes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10122418
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