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.

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

Di Stefano V.
;
De Angelis M. V.;Montemitro C.;Russo M.;Carrarini C.;di Giannantonio M.;Onofrj M.;
2021

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.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/744494
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