The relationship between alcohol consumption and the risk of ischemic stroke has been widely studied, whereas the effect of alcohol use on stroke features is not well established. This study compared the clinical and stroke features of ischemic stroke in two groups of patients with ischemic stroke: those with a history of alcohol misuse and those with a history of more social drinking. DSM-IV criteria were used to diagnose alcohol use disorder (dependency or abuse) in 275 of 486 consecutive patients aged 55–85 years, 3–4 months after ischemic stroke. Magnetic resonance imaging of the head was performed 3 months after stroke. Alcohol use disorder was diagnosed in 37/275 (13.5%) of ischemic stroke patients. These patients had more frequently (70.3 vs. 34.5%; OR 4.5; 95% CI 2.2–9.1; p < 0.000) an infarct affecting the putamen compared with patients who indulged in more social drinking. Another predisposed area was the superior anterior cerebral artery area. The stroke due to large- artery atherosclerosis was more common in patients with alcohol use disorder. The misuse of alcohol seemed to be associated with cerebral infarct localization in the putamen and superior anterior cerebral artery area. Prospective studies are needed to verify our preliminary finding.

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