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Table 1 Vascular territories of the thalamus

From: Isolated thalamic stroke – analysis of clinical characteristics and asymmetry of lesion distribution in a retrospective cohort study

Vascular territory and supplying artery Affected Nuclei* Clinical symptoms [4, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12, 22, 23]
Anterolateral territory
from tuberothalamic artery arising from posterior communicating artery
Anterior thalamic nuclei group (AM, AV, AD)
ventral amygdalo-fugal pathway
ventral IML
intralaminar nuclei (CL, CM, Pf)
rostral VL, ventral pole of MD
mamillothalamic tract
Neuropsychological deficits:
Decreased arousal, disorientation, mood disorders, personality changes, apathy, executive and drive impairment, perseverative behavior
if left-sided: Thalamic aphasia, verbal short-term and visual memory impairment, amnesic syndrome, acalculia
if right-sided: Hemi-spatial neglect, visuo-spatial processing deficits, executive cognitive tasks, non-verbal information processing
memory impairment, amnestic syndrome
Anteromedian territory [22]
varying arterial supply
intralaminar nuclei (CL, CM, Pf)
Hemiparesis, sensory loss, hemiataxia
Neuropsychological deficits, memory impairment with severe anterograde amnesia, aphasia, agnosia and neglect, apraxia, executive dysfunction
Inferomedial territory
from paramedian artery
arising from pre-communicating P1-Segment (PCA)
posteromedial VL
intralaminar nuclei (CL, CM, Pf)
ventromedial pulvinar and LD
mesencephalon (riMLF)
Acute: Sudden disturbance of vigilance; coma
Chronic: “Thalamic dementia” with cognitive deficits, decreased arousal, impaired learning, memory deficits, apraxia, temporal disorientation,
altered personality with apathy, mutism and lethargy, aggression, and agitation
if left-sided: Thalamic aphasia
if right-sided: Visuospatial processing deficits
Motor and/or sensory hemi-syndrome, oculomotor nerve palsy, vertical gaze palsy
Central territory [22]
varying arterial supply
intralaminar nuclei (CL, CM, Pf)
Sensory loss, hemiparesis, ataxia
Decreased vigilance, anterograde amnesia, short-term memory impairment
Inferolateral territory
from thalamogeniculate artery arising from P2-Segment (PCA)
Ventroposterior complex (VPM, VPL, and VPI)
Pulvinar, LD
Sensory loss of all modalities, hemiparesis (often transient†), hemiataxia, predominantly on the right: Postlesion thalamic pain syndrome (Déjérine-Roussy-Syndrome)
Hearing impairment
Behavioral changes
Lateral and medial posterior territory
from lateral and medial branches of the posterior choroidal artery arising from P2-segment (PCA)
Lateral: LGB, LD, LP, inferolateral parts of pulvinar, VPL, VL
Medial: MGB, posterior parts of CM and CL, pulvinar
Dystonic posture, ataxic hemiparesis and sensory loss, visual field loss (hemi- or quadrant-anopia), neuropsychological features
Sensory loss, hemiparesis, aphasia, memory impairment, hand tremor
  1. * vascular supply varies between patients and anatomic conditions, the nuclei principally found in infarction in the given area are stated
  2. † in inferolateral infarction the hemiparesis may be transient due to an edema with affection of the internal capsule
  3. Abbreviations: anteromedial thalamic nucleus (AM), anteroventral thalamic nucleus (AV), anterodorsal thalamic nucleus (AD), intralaminar nuclei of thalamus (INT), ventral anterior thalamic nucleus (VA), ventral lateral thalamic nucleus (VL), medial dorsal thalamic nucleus (MD), internal medullary lamina of thalamus (IML), central lateral thalamic nucleus (CL), centromedian thalamic nucleus (CM), parafascicular thalamic nucleus (Pf), lateral dorsal thalamic nucleus (LD), ventral posterolateral thalamic nucleus (VPL), ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus (VPM), ventral posterior inferior thalamic nucleus (VPI), lateral posterior thalamic nucleus (LP), medial geniculate thalamic nucleus/body (MGB), lateral geniculate thalamic nucleus/body (LGB), thalamic reticular nucleus (RN), fasciculus longitudinalis medialis (riMLF)