Functional recovery after rehabilitation for cerebellar stroke

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Background and Purpose—Relatively few data exist concerning functional recovery after ischemic and hemorrhagic cerebellar stroke. We studied patients admitted to a rehabilitation hospital after cerebellar stroke to quantify recovery after rehabilitation therapy and to identify variables that predicted functional outcome.
—This study was a retrospective review of consecutive cases admitted in a 4-year period with new cerebellar infarct or hemorrhage. Clinical features of stroke were recorded and comorbidities scored with the Charlson Index. Follow-up information was obtained by telephone interview. The Functional Independence Measure (FIM) was scored at admission (AFIM), discharge (DFIM), and follow-up (FFIM). Outcome measures were DFIM and FFIM. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
Fifty-eight cases were identified (mean age 69.2 years; 49 infarcts, 9 hemorrhages). Mean AFIM was 65.5, and mean DFIM was 89.8. Mean AFIM was significantly higher in the infarct than in the hemorrhage subgroup (70 versus 43, P=0.006). Mean DFIM was also higher in the infarct subgroup but did not reach statistical significance (93 versus 74, P=0.1). Follow-up information was obtained for 45 cases (78%) (mean interval 19.5 months). Median FFIM was 123.5. Outcome was significantly positively correlated with AFIM and initial presenting syndrome of vertigo/vomiting/ataxia/headache. Outcome correlated negatively with preexisting comorbidity score, altered level of consciousness at initial presentation, and superior cerebellar artery infarction. On multivariate analysis, AFIM and comorbidity score were independent predictors of outcome.
—Substantial improvement of mean FIM score frequently occurs after rehabilitation after cerebellar infarction. Functional outcome is best predicted by preexisting comorbidities and functional status at the time of discharge from acute hospitalization.