Pure motor stroke is the commonest lacunar syndrome, but it may be associated with nonlacunar mechanisms of infarction. Pure motor brachiofacial weakness has been considered as a partial syndrome depending on a lacunar mechanism. We studied the correlations between stroke type, topography of infarction and etiology in 22 patients with pure motor brachiofacial weakness who were consecutively admitted to our stroke unit during a 10-year period. Seventeen patients had a small deep infarct, 4 had a cortical infarct in the superficial MCA territory and 1 had no specific lesion. The part of the cardiovascular risk factors was about 36% for smoking, 13% for diabetes mellitus, 60% for dyslipidemia and 40% for heart disease. Hypertension was present in 75% of our cases. None of the patients had a large artery stenosis on Doppler ultrasonography. We concluded that brachiofacial pure motor stroke is not always correlated to lacunar infarcts and may be due to a cortical infarct. MRI should be performed when brain CT is normal because of the implications it may have in management and therapy.

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