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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)