Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Lacunar Infarction

  • Elliot J. RothEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_2188


LACI; Lacunar stroke; Lacunar stroke syndrome (LACS); Lacune


A lacunar infarction is a small (less than 15 mm) deep subcortical area of brain damage, usually resulting from occlusion of the tiny (200–800 μ) deep penetrating lenticulostriate arteries that normally provide blood supply to the deeper subcortical brain tissues, such as the basal ganglia, internal capsule, thalamus, and brain stem.

Current Knowledge

It is thought that prolonged exposure to hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and other factors induces the processes of lipohyalinosis (small vessel disease of the brain) and microatheroma (tiny accumulations and swelling of artery walls that are comprised of cell debris, lipids, calcium, and fibrous tissue) in the small blood vessels that feed the subcortical areas, ultimately causing their occlusion. It is estimated that lacunar infarcts account for 25% of all ischemic strokes, with an incidence of approximately 15 per 100,000 per year. They are more frequent...

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References and Readings

  1. Baumgartner, R. W., Sidler, C., Mosso, M., & Georgiadis, D. (2003). Ischemic lacunar stroke in patients with and without potential mechanism other than small-artery disease. Stroke, 34, 653–659.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Mok, V. C. T., Wong, A., Lam, W. W. M., Fan, Y. H., Tang, W. K., Kwok, T., et al. (2004). Cognitive impairment and functional outcome after stroke associated with small vessel disease. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 75, 560–566.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Wardlaw, J. M. (2005). What causes lacunar stroke? Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 76, 617–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA