Recent stroke studies have shown that the ipsi-lesional thalamus longitudinally and significantly decreases after stroke in the acute and subacute stages. However, additional considerations in the chronic stages of stroke require exploration including time since stroke, gender, intracortical volume, aging, and lesion volume to better characterize thalamic differences after cortical infarct. This cross-sectional retrospective study quantified the ipsilesional and contralesional thalamus volume from 69 chronic stroke subjects’ anatomical MRI data (age 35–92) and related the thalamus volume to time since stroke, gender, intracortical volume, age, and lesion volume. The ipsi-lesional thalamus volume was significantly smaller than the contra-lesional thalamus volume (t(68) = 13.89, p < 0.0001). In the ipsilesional thalamus, significant effect for intracortical volume (t(68) = 2.76, p = 0.008), age (t(68) = 2.47, p = 0.02), lesion volume (t(68) = − 3.54, p = 0.0008), and age*time since stroke (t(68) = 2.46, p = 0.02) were identified. In the contralesional thalamus, significant effect for intracortical volume (t(68) = 3.2, p = 0.002) and age (t = − 3.17, p = 0.002) were identified. Clinical factors age and intracortical volume influence both ipsi- and contralesional thalamus volume and lesion volume influences the ipsilesional thalamus. Due to the cross-sectional nature of this study, additional research is warranted to understand differences in the neural circuitry and subsequent influence on volumetrics after stroke.
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