Maeshima S, Osawa A, Miyazaki Y, Takeda H, Tanahashi N.
Neurol Sci. 2012 Aug;33(4):759-64. Epub 2011 Oct 7.
We examined the clinical features of patients with pontine infarction in the acute stage and the factors affecting functional prognosis and outcome. Lesions, neurological manifestations at initial physical status examinations, cognitive function, swallowing function and outcome [activities of daily living (ADL), status of nutritional intake at discharge and destination after discharge] were evaluated in 68 patients (47 males and 21 females) who had pontine lesions with acute phase cerebral infarction. The mean length of stay was 24.4 days. The symptoms (number of patients) observed included paralysis (50), dysarthria (47), ataxia (18), diplopia (11), dysphagia (49) and poor cognitive performance (37). The types of lesions (number of patients) included lacunar infarcts in the ventral pontine area (15), lacunar infarcts in the dorsal pontine area (13) and large lacunar infarcts (LLIs) (41). After hospital discharge, 23 patients were discharged home, 44 were transferred to another hospital and 1 died. Twenty-three patients were on a regular diet, 22 were receiving a dysphagia diet and 22 were on enteral feeding at discharge. Patients with LLIs more frequently had poor cognitive performance, paralysis, dysphagia at discharge and a tendency for a longer length of stay compared with patients who had lacunar infarct. Most patients who returned home were those who were younger in age, had fewer neurological symptoms, had better cognitive function and ADL performance, and could ingest food. In an acute hospital, age, neurological symptoms, ADL, cognitive function, and dysphagia were considered important factors for determining the outcome in patients with pontine infarction.