Near-infrared spectroscopic topography as a tool to monitor motor reorganization after hemiparetic stroke: A comparison with functional MRI

Hiroyuki Kato, Masahiro Izumiyama, Hideaki Koizumi, Akira Takahashi, Yasuto Itoyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Purpose - Motor functional recovery from stroke can occur, but the mechanisms underlying this restorative process remain to be elucidated. We used near-infrared spectroscopic (NIRS) topography in comparison with functional MRI (fMRI) to evaluate the compensatory motor activation of cortical regions in patients who recovered from hemiparesis after cortical cerebral infarction. Methods - We examined 6 right-handed patients who suffered cerebral infarction of the middle cerebral artery territory with minimal or mild residual contralateral hemiparesis (4 men and 2 women, 59 to 79 years old, all had left hemiparesis). Both fMRI and NIRS were studied during a hand movement task at chronic stages. Five right-handed, normal subjects (3 men and 2 women, 44 to 81 years old) served as controls. Results - fMRI and NIRS detected very similar cerebral cortical activation, although NIRS detected only superficial activation. The spatial resolution of NIRS was less than that of fMRI, but NIRS provided a dynamic profile of activation. Normal subjects activated predominantly the contralateral primary sensorimotor cortex and supplementary motor areas during each hand movement. All the stroke patients exhibited the normal activation pattern during normal hand movement. On affected hand movement, the stroke patients showed extended activation not only in the contralateral motor cortex but also in the ipsilateral motor cortex (primary motor cortex and supplementary motor areas). Conclusions - Both fMRI and NIRS studies provided evidence for the contribution of ipsilateral motor cortical compensation or reorganization to the recovery from poststroke hemiparesis. The result demonstrated that NIRS was a unique tool to monitor poststroke alterations in cortical motor functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2032-2036
Number of pages5
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral infarction
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Neuronal plasticity
  • Paresis
  • Spectroscopy, near-infrared

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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