A reliable MR measurement of medial temporal lobe width from the Sunnybrook Dementia Study

Neurobiol Aging. Jan-Feb 2003;24(1):49-56. doi: 10.1016/s0197-4580(02)00013-1.


We studied the hippocampal angle and spatial relationships of medial temporal lobe (MTL) structures, using midbrain colliculi and inter-collicular sulcus (ICS) as landmarks, and measured MTL width on axial 3D-T1-weighted MRI at ICS level in 41 normal, aged participants. Mean hippocampal angle was 29 degrees (range 17-42 degrees ) caudal to the anterior-posterior commissure (AC-PC) line. The slice at the ICS, parallel to the long axis of the hippocampus, best revealed a longitudinal view of hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus in 76% of participants, compared to only 7% when slices were 20 degrees caudal to orbitomeatal line (OML), an accepted technique used to examine MTL width in previous CT studies. The MTL width measured midway and at its thinnest between the anterior-posterior borders of the midbrain was highly reproducible (intraclass correlation coefficients >0.98) using these new methods. These simple decision rules, individualized orientation along the hippocampus and using a standardized landmark like the ICS, make these measures more comparable across subjects, and hence more useful in detecting and monitoring MTL atrophy in dementia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Mapping
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology
  • Hippocampus / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Temporal Lobe / anatomy & histology
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Temporal Lobe / physiology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed