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04 February 2013

Quantitative MR evaluation of atrophy, as well as perfusion and diffusion alterations within hippocampi in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and mild cognitive impairment

Anna ZimnyABCDEF, Joanna BladowskaBCDE, Małgorzata NeskaBCD, Kamila PetryszynBCD, Maciej GuzińskiCF, Paweł SzewczykAD, Jerzy LeszekAG, Marek SąsiadekADFG

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883757

Med Sci Monit 2013; 19:86-94

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate atrophy rates, perfusion, and diffusion disturbances within the hippocampus, which is the site of characteristic changes in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Thirty patients with AD (mean age 71.2 yrs) – 34 with MCI (mean age 67.7 yrs) and 20 healthy controls (mean age 68.1 yrs) – underwent structural MR examination followed by perfusion and diffusion-weighted imaging on a 1.5 T scanner. Visual rating of hippocampal atrophy, planimetric measurements of hippocampal formation (HF) and perihippocampal fluid spaces (PFSs), and values of relative cerebral blood volume (rCBV) and apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) were assessed. The results were correlated with the MMSE scores.

RESULTS: In AD we found decreased size of HF and increased diameters of PFSs and ADC values, compared to MCI and control group. Compared to normal controls, the MCI group showed decreased HF size and increased diameters of only medial PFS. There were no differences in rCBV values among all the subject groups. Planimetric measurements of hippocampal atrophy showed the highest accuracy in diagnosing AD and MCI. In all patients, the increased rates of hippocampal atrophy correlated with the increased ADC values. In MCI, MMSE scores correlated with the HF size and ADC values.

CONCLUSIONS: In AD and MCI, hippocampal atrophy is associated with decreased tissue integrity without coexisting perfusion disturbances. Of all evaluated hippocampal measurements, atrophy rates seem to be the most useful parameters in detecting changes among AD, MCI, and control subjects.

Keywords: Hippocampus - physiopathology, Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Case-Control Studies, Blood Volume, Atrophy, Alzheimer Disease - physiopathology, Mild Cognitive Impairment - physiopathology, Perfusion

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750