Poststroke Executive Function in Relation to White Matter Damage on Clinically Acquired CT Brain Imaging.
Hobden G., Moore MJ., Mair G., Pendlebury ST., Demeyere N.
BACKGROUND: Executive function (EF) impairments are prevalent post stroke and are associated with white matter (WM) damage on MRI. However, less is known about the relationship between poststroke EF and WM damage on CT imaging. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between poststroke EF and WM damage associated with stroke lesions and WM hypointensities (WMHs) on clinically acquired CT imaging. METHOD: This study analyzed data from the Oxford Cognitive Screening Program, which recruited individuals aged ≥18 years with a confirmed stroke from an acute stroke unit. The individuals completed a follow-up assessment 6 months post stroke. We included individuals with a CT scan showing a visible stroke who completed follow-up EF assessment using the Oxford Cognitive Screen-Plus rule-finding task. We manually delineated stroke lesions and quantified then dichotomized WM damage caused by the stroke using the HCP-842 atlas. We visually rated then dichotomized WMHs using the Age-Related White Matter Changes Scale. RESULTS: Among 87 stroke survivors (Mage = 73.60 ± 11.75; 41 female; 61 ischemic stroke), multivariable linear regression showed that stroke damage to the medial lemniscus (B = -8.86, P < 0.001) and the presence of WMHs (B = -5.42, P = 0.005) were associated with poorer EF 6 months post stroke after adjusting for covariates including age and education. CONCLUSION: Poorer EF was associated with WM damage caused by stroke lesions and WMHs on CT. These results confirm the importance of WM integrity for EF post stroke and demonstrate the prognostic utility of CT-derived imaging markers for poststroke cognitive outcomes.