A case is described of a 56 year old Japanese male with pure agraphia of kanji (the Japanese morphograms) due to haemorrhagic infarction of the left temporal lobe caused by the rare condition of cortical vein thrombosis of Labbé. Writing kanji was severely impaired without disturbed consciousness, aphasia or apraxia. On the other hand, writing kana (the Japanese syllabograms), and reading kanji and kana were almost intact. This suggests that the process of writing kanji involves a different pathway from that of reading kanji in the left temporal lobe. Pure agraphia of kanji is considered to be similar to lexical agraphia in Indo-European languages, in that the writing system with a poor or irregular phoneme-grapheme transformation is impaired by the left temporal lesion. This case indicates the necessity for considering thrombosis of the Labbé vein when a subcortical haematoma is detected in a temporal lobe on computed tomography of the brain.
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