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J Neurol Sci. 2014 Jan 15;336(1-2):269-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2013.10.026. Epub 2013 Oct 27.

Thalamic cramplike pain.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. Electronic address: lucianosposato@gmail.com.
2
Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada; Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.
3
Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.

Abstract

IMPORTANCE:

We describe a case of cramplike pain after a left thalamic ischemic stroke, a neglected type of central post-stroke pain and we describe its neuroanatomical correlates.

OBSERVATIONS:

A 68-year-old right-handed man presented with right arm, leg, and flank cramplike pain noted upon awakening. Neurological examination was normal, with no evidence of objective sensory abnormalities. Because of the nature of the pain and the preserved sensory function, we first did not consider stroke as a potential cause, and suspected that pain was related to the combined effect of intense physical exercising on the right side and the use of statins. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging showed an acute ischemic infarction within the left thalamus. By registering high-resolution 3 T T1-weighted and T2-weighted magnetic resonance images to the Talairach atlas, we showed the infarction is within the border between the pulvinar and the ventral posterior medial nuclei. Brodmann's areas 3, 1, 2, 4 and 6 were identified as the cortical correlates of the ischemic lesion by diffusion tensor tractography.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE:

Thalamic cramplike pain should be recognized as a type of central post-stroke pain, probably produced by lesions localized to the border between the ventral posterior and pulvinar nuclei and connected to the ipsilateral primary somatosensory cortex and primary and secondary motor cortices.

KEYWORDS:

Cerebrovascular; Cramps; Neuroanatomy; Pain; Stroke; Thalamus; Topography; Tractography

PMID:
24210074
DOI:
10.1016/j.jns.2013.10.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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