Objectives: Little is known about the prevalence of central poststroke pain (CPSP) according to the integrity of the spino-thalamo-cortical pathway (STP). Using diffusion tensor tractography, we investigated the prevalence of CPSP according to the integrity of the STP in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage. Methods: We recruited 52 consecutive chronic patients and 10 normal control subjects. Patients were classified into two groups according to preservation of the integrity of the STP. Each group was divided into two subgroups according to the presence of CPSP. Results: The preserved group included 34 patients [CPSP subgroup, 16 (47%) patients; non-CPSP subgroup, 18 (53%) patients], and 18 patients were enrolled into the disrupted group [CPSP subgroup, 3 (17%) patients; non-CPSP subgroup, 15 (83%) patients]. The fractional anisotropy and mean diffusivity values of the CPSP and non-CPSP subgroups of the preserved group were decreased and increased when compared with those of the control group, respectively (p < 0.05). Conclusions: We found that the prevalence of CPSP in patients with partial injury of the STP was higher than that of patients with complete injury of the STP. Partial injury of the STP appears to be more vulnerable to development of CPSP than complete injury of the STP in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage.

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