Clinical Neuroscience

Is isolated hand weakness associated with subtypes of stroke?

YILDIRIM Ahmet1, GÜNGEN Dogan Belma2

JANUARY 30, 2019

Clinical Neuroscience - 2019;72(01-02)


Background and aim - Isolated hand weakness is an uncommon condition in stroke patients. It is frequently confused with peripheral nerve system (PNS) pathologies; misdiagnosis may delay identification of the etiology and treatment of stroke. Herein, we aimed to underline the necessity of keeping the diagnosis of stroke in mind in case of patients with isolated hand weakness and to assess the etiology of stroke. Materials and methods - A total of eight patients (four females and four males), who are presented with isolated hand weakness and had acute cortical infarction documented via cranial MRI, were enrolled in the study. Demographic characteristics, physical and radiological findings of the patients, as well as the lateralization and etiology of infarction were evaluated. Results - The mean age of the patients was 61.8 ± 12 years. Isolated hand weakness was in the dominant hand in four patients. According to the etiology and clinical signs, the stroke was cardioembolic in three patients and they had predominant radial-side (thumb and index) finger weakness. Large vessel atherosclerosis was present in three patients; two patients with predominant ulnar-side (little and ring) finger weakness and one patient with uniform finger weakness; there were two patients with stroke of undetermined etiology and they had uniform finger weakness. Conclusion - Keeping stroke in mind together with PNS pathologies in case of isolated hand weakness is critical for early diagnosis and treatment of the patients. In addition, cardioembolic focus should be considered in case of predominant radial-side finger weakness, whereas particular attention should be paid to carotid artery diseases in case of predominant ulnar-side finger weakness.


  1. Karadeniz Technical University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Trabzon, Turkey
  2. Rumeli University, İstanbul, Turkey



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