An MRI-based method for measuring volume, thickness and surface area of entorhinal, perirhinal, and posterior parahippocampal cortex

Neurobiol Aging. 2009 Mar;30(3):420-31. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2007.07.023. Epub 2007 Sep 11.


Several quantitative MRI-based protocols have been developed for measuring the volume of entorhinal (ERC), perirhinal (PRC), and posterior parahippocampal (PPHC) cortex. However, since the volume of a cortical region is a composite measure, relating directly to both thickness and surface area, it would be ideal to be able to quantify all of these morphometric measures, particularly since disease-related processes, such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), may preferentially affect thickness. This study describes a novel protocol for measuring the thickness, surface area, and volume of these three medial temporal lobe (MTL) subregions. Participants included 29 younger normal subjects (ages 18-30), 47 older normal subjects (ages 66-90), and 29 patients with mild AD (ages 56-90). Cortical surface models were reconstructed from the gray/white and gray/cerebrospinal fluid boundaries, and a hybrid visualization approach was implemented to trace the ERC, PRC, and PPHC using both orthogonal MRI slice- and cortical surface-based visualization of landmarks. Anatomic variants of the collateral sulcus (CS) were classified in all 105 participants, and the relationship between CS variants and corresponding morphometric measures was examined. One CS variant - deep, uninterrupted CS not connected with nearby sulci - was the most common configuration and was associated with thinner cortex within the ERC and PRC regions. This novel protocol enables the reliable measurement of both the thickness and surface area of ERC, PRC, and PPHC.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Entorhinal Cortex / anatomy & histology*
  • Entorhinal Cortex / growth & development
  • Entorhinal Cortex / pathology
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / anatomy & histology*
  • Hippocampus / growth & development
  • Hippocampus / pathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Parahippocampal Gyrus / anatomy & histology*
  • Parahippocampal Gyrus / growth & development
  • Parahippocampal Gyrus / pathology
  • Young Adult