Usefulness of computed tomography linear measurements in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease

Acta Radiol. 2008 Feb;49(1):91-7. doi: 10.1080/02841850701753706.


Background: Medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA) is an early sign of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The current method of choice for measuring MTA is volumetric measurement based on 3D magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), but this complicated method has not been implemented clinically.

Purpose: To investigate whether simple computed tomography (CT) linear measurements of the brain could be of value in AD workup.

Material and methods: Fifty-nine healthy control subjects and 248 AD subjects were recruited. They were evaluated using a comprehensive clinical workup. A series of linear CT measurements were obtained from brain CT.

Results: In discriminant analysis, the temporal horn ratio and the suprasellar cistern ratio were the atrophy factors that contributed most significantly to the diagnoses. Combined with other clinical factors (apolipoprotein E4 genotype), a correct AD classification of 90.2% was achieved.

Conclusion: CT linear measurements could be of value in the workup of AD patients, considering the inexpensiveness and availability of CT as well as the simplicity of linear measurements.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / statistics & numerical data