Position-Cortical Coherence as a Marker of Afferent Pathway Integrity Early Poststroke: A Prospective Cohort Study

Sarah B. Zandvliet, Erwin E. H. van Wegen, S. Floor Campfens, Herman van der Kooij, Gert Kwakkel, Carel G. M. Meskers

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Background. Addressing the role of somatosensory impairment, that is, afferent pathway integrity, in poststroke motor recovery may require neurophysiological assessment. Objective. We investigated the longitudinal construct validity of position-cortical coherence (PCC), that is, the agreement between mechanically evoked wrist perturbations and electroencephalography (EEG), as a measure of afferent pathway integrity. Methods. PCC was measured serially in 48 patients after a first-ever ischemic stroke in addition to Fugl-Meyer motor assessment of the upper extremity (FM-UE) and Nottingham Sensory Assessment hand-finger subscores (EmNSA-HF, within 3 and at 5, 12, and 26 weeks poststroke. Changes in PCC over time, represented by percentage presence of PCC (%PCC), mean amplitude of PCC over the affected (Amp-A) and nonaffected hemisphere (Amp-N) and a lateralization index (L-index), were analyzed, as well as their association with FM-UE and EmNSA-HF. Patients were retrospectively categorized based on FM-UE score at baseline and 26 weeks poststroke into high- and low-baseline recoverers and non-recoverers. Results. %PCC increased from baseline to 12 weeks poststroke (β = 1.6%, CI = 0.32% to 2.86%, P = .01), which was no longer significant after adjusting for EmNSA-HF and FM-UE. A significant positive association was found between %PCC, Amp-A, and EmNSA-HF. Low-baseline recoverers (n = 8) showed longitudinally significantly higher %PCC than high-baseline recoverers (n = 23). Conclusions. We demonstrated the longitudinal construct validity of %PCC and Amp-A as a measure of afferent pathway integrity. A high %PCC in low-baseline recoverers suggests that this measure also contains information on cortical excitability. Use of PCC as an EEG-based measure to address the role of somatosensory integrity to motor recovery poststroke requires further attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-359
Number of pages16
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number4
Early online date4 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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