BACKGROUND: Thalamic hemorrhages cause motor paralysis, sensory impairment, and cognitive dysfunctions, all of which may significantly affect walking independence. We examined the factors related to independent walking in patients with thalamic hemorrhage who were admitted to a rehabilitation hospital.
METHODS: We evaluated 128 patients with thalamic hemorrhage (75 men and 53 women; age range, 40-93 years) who were admitted to our rehabilitation hospital. The mean duration from symptom onset to rehabilitation hospital admission was 27.2 ± 10.3 days, and the mean rehabilitation hospital stay was 71.0 ± 31.4 days. Patients' neurological and cognitive functions were examined with the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), respectively. The relationship between patients' scores on these scales and their walking ability at discharge from the rehabilitation hospital was analyzed. Additionally, a decision-tree analysis was used to create a model for predicting independent walking upon referral to the rehabilitation hospital.
RESULTS: Among the patients, 65 could walk independently and 63 could not. The two patient groups were significantly different in terms of age, duration from symptom onset to rehabilitation hospital admission, hematoma type, hematoma volume, neurological symptoms, and cognitive function. The decision-tree analysis revealed that the patient's age, NIHSS score, MMSE score, hematoma volume, and presence of ventricular bleeding were factors that could predict independent walking.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with thalamic hemorrhage, the neurological symptoms, cognitive function, and neuroimaging factors at onset are useful for predicting independent walking.
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