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La radiologia medica

, 113:915 | Cite as

Evaluation of white matter damage in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in patients with mild cognitive impairment by using diffusion tensor imaging

  • M. UkmarEmail author
  • E. Makuc
  • M. L. Onor
  • G. Garbin
  • M. Trevisiol
  • M. A. Cova
Neuroradiology/Neuroradiologia

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this study was to evaluate white matter tissue damage in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

Materials and methods

Forty-seven subjects were evaluated: 14 patients with AD, 15 with MCI and 18 healthy volunteers. All subjects were studied using conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and DTI (32 directions) with a 1.5 T magnet. Fractional anisotropy (FA) was measured in the following regions: frontal, occipital, parietal and temporal white matter and in the genu and splenium of the corpus callosum. The results were compared between the different groups and correlated with the Mini-Mental State Evaluation (MMSE) scores.

Results

A statistically significant difference was obtained between controls and MCI patients (p<0.007) and between controls and AD patients (p<0.05) with regard to FA of the white matter in the splenium. A statistically significant difference was obtained between controls and AD patients with regard to FA in the genu (p<0.016). Moreover, there was a statistically significant difference between controls and AD patients considering the genu (p<0.016) and the frontal white matter on the right side (p<0.024). The MMSE scores correlated with the FA values measured in the genu, the splenium and frontal white matter on the right side. No significant differences were identified between patients with AD and those with MCI.

Conclusions

DTI could be of value in the early detection of white-matter damage in patients with MCI and AD. The DTI values correlate with the neuropsychological tests.

Keywords

Alzheimer’s disease Diffusion tensor imaging Magnetic resonance 

Risonanza magnetica con tensori di diffusione nella valutazione delle alterazioni della sostanza bianca nei pazienti con malattia di Alzheimer e nei pazienti con mild cognitive impairment

Riassunto

Obiettivo

Valutare mediante risonanza magnetica (RM) con tensori di diffusione (DTI) le alterazioni della sostanza bianca in soggetti con malattia di Alzheimer (AD) e in soggetti con mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Materiali e metodi

Sono stati valutati 47 soggetti: 14 pazienti con diagnosi di AD, 15 pazienti con diagnosi di MCI e 18 soggetti sani di controllo. Gli esami di RM sono stati eseguiti con un magnete da 1,5 T mediante sequenze convenzionali e una sequenza pesata in diffusione con tensori applicati secondo 32 direzioni. È stata valutata l’anisotropia frazionaria (FA) a livello della sostanza bianca frontale, parietale, occipitale e temporale nonché a livello dello splenio e del ginocchio del corpo calloso. I risultati ottenuti sono stati confrontati tra i tre gruppi e con il MMSE test.

Risultati

È emersa una differenza statisticamente significativa a livello dello splenio per quanto riguarda la FA tra i soggetti con MCI ed i controlli (p<0,007) e tra soggetti con AD ed i controlli (p<0,05), a livello del ginocchio tra i controlli e i soggetti con AD (p<0,016) e a livello della sostanza bianca frontale destra fra controlli e soggetti con AD (p<0,024). La FA è risultata correlare con il MMSE a livello del ginocchio, dello splenio e della sostanza bianca a livello frontale destro. Dal confronto fra i soggetti con MCI ed il gruppo con AD non è emersa alcuna differenza statisticamente significativa.

Conclusioni

L’utilizzo dei tensori di diffusione nei pazienti con AD e MCI consente una precoce valutazione del danno della sostanza bianca. I valori di DTI correlano con i test neuropsicologici.

Parole chiave

Malattia di Alzheimer Tensori di diffusione Risonanza magnetica 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Ukmar
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Makuc
    • 1
  • M. L. Onor
    • 2
  • G. Garbin
    • 3
  • M. Trevisiol
    • 2
  • M. A. Cova
    • 1
  1. 1.Unità Clinica Operativa di RadiologiaUniversità degli Studi di TriesteTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Unità Clinica Operativa di PsichiatriaUniversità degli Studi di TriesteTriesteItaly
  3. 3.BRAIN Center for NeuroscienceUniversità degli Studi di TriesteTriesteItaly

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