Clinical and radiological characteristics of restless legs syndrome following acute lacunar infarction

Houzhen Tuo, Zelong Tian, Xiaoyang Ma, Yinong Cui, Yun Xue, Jingjing Che, Chunling Xu, Kui Chen, Yongbo Zhang, Liyan Zhang, Hongyan Bi, Weidong Le, William Ondo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Recent studies have suggested that cerebral ischemic infarction may contribute to the development of restless legs syndrome (RLS). This study analyzed the clinical and radiological profiles of RLS with onset after acute lacunar infarction. Methods: In this retrospective study we enrolled 244 consecutive patients with acute lacunar infarction between January 2012 and June 2014. RLS was identified and evaluated based on the International RLS Rating Scale (IRLS-RS). Individual sleep quality was assessed using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). Psychological state was also assessed using the Hamilton Depression Scale (HDS) and the Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAS). Results: The incidence of RLS in patients with lacunar infarction was 5.33%. Our participant group consisted of nine males and four females. Three patients had symptoms in bilateral limbs, and 10 patients had symptoms only contralateral to the cerebral infarction. The infarctions were localized to the pons, centrum semiovale, thalamus, putamen, medulla, and occipital lobe. Contralateral paralysis was found in 13 patients, and contralateral sensory deficit in seven patients. The average IRLS-RS, ESS, HDS, HAS scores were 19.07 ± 8.70, 4.69 ± 5.82, 4.38 ± 4.68, and 3.85 ± 4.76, respectively. Nine patients had diabetes mellitus. After administration of dopaminergic drugs, patients’ RLS significantly improved. Conclusions: The incidence of RLS after acute lacunar infarction was 5.33%. Pons, centrum semiovale, and basal ganglia were the common locations of responsible lesions. Compared to idiopathic RLS, symptoms of RLS after acute lacunar infarction appeared more unilateral and more likely involved the arm. Moreover, diabetes mellitus may be a risk factor for RLS in stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-87
Number of pages7
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Acute lacunar infarction
  • Clinical radiological characteristics
  • Location
  • Pathway
  • Restless legs syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical and radiological characteristics of restless legs syndrome following acute lacunar infarction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this