, Volume 253, Issue 6, pp 794-800
Date: 06 Mar 2006

Comprehensive dissection of the medial temporal lobe in AD: measurement of hippocampus, amygdala, entorhinal, perirhinal and parahippocampal cortices using MRI

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Abstract

Background

Early pathological involvement of specific medial temporal lobe areas is characteristic for Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Objective

To determine the extent of regional medial temporal lobe atrophy, including hippocampus, amygdala, and entorhinal, perirhinal, and parahippocampal cortices in mild AD patients and healthy controls, and to compare diagnostic accuracy across volumetric markers.

Methods

We studied 34 patients with clinically probable AD and 22 healthy elderly control subjects. Regional volumetric measures were obtained from volumetric T1–weighted MRI scans after accounting for global brain atrophy using affine transformation into standard space.

Results

Volumes of medial temporal lobe structures were significantly smaller in AD patients than in controls with exception of the left entorhinal cortex. The degree of atrophy was comparable between all structures. Diagnostic accuracy (number of correctly allocated cases divided by number of all cases) was highest for the right parahippocampal cortex with 85%, but only slightly lower for the right hippocampus and right entorhinal cortex with 82% and 84%. Using a linear combination of markers, the unilateral volumes of the right hippocampus, parahippocampal cortex and perirhinal cortex yielded an accuracy of 93%.

Conclusion

Extent of atrophy is similar between the different regions of the medial temporal lobe in mild AD.Volume measurements of medial temporal lobe structures in addition to the hippocampus only yield improved diagnostic accuracy if a combination of these structures is used.