Imaging predictors of poststroke depression: methodological factors in voxel-based analysis

Sophia A. Gozzi, Amanda G. Wood, Jian Chen, Krishnarao Vaddadi, Thanh G. Phan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between lesion location and poststroke depression using statistical parametric mapping.

METHODS: First episode patients with stroke were assessed within 12 days and at 1-month poststroke. Patients with an a priori defined cut-off score of 11 on the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) at follow-up were further assessed using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI) to confirm a clinical diagnosis of major or minor depression in accordance with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-IV (DSM-IV) inclusion criteria. Participants were included if they were aged 18-85 years, proficient in English and eligible for MRI. Patients were excluded if they had a confounding diagnosis such as major depressive disorder at the time of admission, a neurodegenerative disease, epilepsy or an imminently life-threatening comorbid illness, subarachnoid or subdural stroke, a second episode of stroke before follow-up and/or a serious impairment of consciousness or language. Infarcts observed on MRI scans were manually segmented into binary images, linearly registered into a common stereotaxic coordinate space. Using statistical parametric mapping, we compared infarct patterns in patients with stroke with and without depression.

RESULTS: 27% (15/55 patients) met criteria for depression at follow-up. Mean infarct volume was 19±53 mL and National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) at Time 1 (within 12 days of stroke) was 4±4, indicating a sample of mild strokes. No voxels or clusters were significant after a multiple comparison correction was applied (p>0.05). Examination of infarct maps showed that there was minimal overlap of infarct location between patients, thus invalidating the voxel comparison analysis.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provided inconclusive evidence for the association between infarcts in a specific region and poststroke depression.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere004948
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2014

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work noncommercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use.


  • depression
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • stroke


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