This study investigated factors associated with aphasia severity at both 2 weeks and 3 months after stroke using demographic and clinical variables, brain diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters, and lesion volume measurements. Patients with left hemisphere stroke were assessed at 2 weeks (n = 68) and at 3 months (n = 20) after stroke. Demographic, clinical, and neuroimaging data were collected; language functions were assessed using the Western Aphasia Battery. For neuroimaging, DTI parameters, including the laterality index (LI) of fractional anisotropy (FA), axial diffusivity (AD), radial diffusivity, mean diffusivity and fibre density (FD) of the arcuate fasciculus (AF), and lesion volume, were measured. Lesion volume, cortical involvement, and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score significantly predicted aphasia severity at 2 weeks after stroke, whereas the aphasia quotient and presence of depression during the early subacute stage were significant predictors at 3 months after stroke. According to Pearson correlation, LI-AD and LI-FD were significantly correlated with the aphasia quotient 2 weeks after ischaemic stroke, and the LI-FA was significantly correlated with the aphasia quotient 2 weeks after haemorrhagic stroke, suggesting that the extent and mechanism of AF injuries differ between ischaemic and haemorrhagic strokes. These differences may contribute to aphasia severity.
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