Interhemispheric cerebral blood flow balance during recovery of motor hand function after ischemic stroke - a longitudinal MRI study using arterial spin labeling perfusion

Wiest, Roland; Abela, Eugenio; Missimer, John; Schroth, Gerhard; Hess, Christian Walter; Sturzenegger, Matthias; Wang, Danny J J; Weder, Bruno J.; Federspiel, Andrea (2014). Interhemispheric cerebral blood flow balance during recovery of motor hand function after ischemic stroke - a longitudinal MRI study using arterial spin labeling perfusion. PLoS ONE, 9(9), e106327. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0106327

journal.pone.0106327.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY).

Download (465kB) | Preview


Unilateral ischemic stroke disrupts the well balanced interactions within bilateral cortical networks. Restitution of interhemispheric balance is thought to contribute to post-stroke recovery. Longitudinal measurements of cerebral blood flow (CBF) changes might act as surrogate marker for this process.


To quantify longitudinal CBF changes using arterial spin labeling MRI (ASL) and interhemispheric balance within the cortical sensorimotor network and to assess their relationship with motor hand function recovery.


Longitudinal CBF data were acquired in 23 patients at 3 and 9 months after cortical sensorimotor stroke and in 20 healthy controls using pulsed ASL. Recovery of grip force and manual dexterity was assessed with tasks requiring power and precision grips. Voxel-based analysis was performed to identify areas of significant CBF change. Region-of-interest analyses were used to quantify the interhemispheric balance across nodes of the cortical sensorimotor network.


Dexterity was more affected, and recovered at a slower pace than grip force. In patients with successful recovery of dexterous hand function, CBF decreased over time in the contralesional supplementary motor area, paralimbic anterior cingulate cortex and superior precuneus, and interhemispheric balance returned to healthy control levels. In contrast, patients with poor recovery presented with sustained hypoperfusion in the sensorimotor cortices encompassing the ischemic tissue, and CBF remained lateralized to the contralesional hemisphere.


Sustained perfusion imbalance within the cortical sensorimotor network, as measured with task-unrelated ASL, is associated with poor recovery of dexterous hand function after stroke. CBF at rest might be used to monitor recovery and gain prognostic information.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Psychiatric Neurophysiology [discontinued]
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Wiest, Roland Gerhard Rudi, Abela, Eugenio, Schroth, Gerhard, Hess, Christian Walter, Sturzenegger, Matthias, Weder, Bruno, Federspiel, Andrea


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Public Library of Science




Martin Zbinden

Date Deposited:

23 Jan 2015 15:13

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:25

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback