Development of an MRI rating scale for multiple brain regions: comparison with volumetrics and with voxel-based morphometry

Neuroradiology. 2009 Aug;51(8):491-503. doi: 10.1007/s00234-009-0521-z. Epub 2009 Mar 24.


Introduction: We aimed to devise a rating method for key frontal and temporal brain regions validated against quantitative volumetric methods and applicable to a range of dementia syndromes.

Methods: Four standardised coronal MR images from 36 subjects encompassing controls and cases with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) were used. After initial pilot studies, 15 regions produced good intra- and inter-rater reliability. We then validated the ratings against manual volumetry and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and compared ratings across the subject groups.

Results: Validation against both manual volumetry (for both frontal and temporal lobes), and against whole brain VBM, showed good correlation with visual ratings for the majority of the brain regions. Comparison of rating scores across disease groups showed involvement of the anterior fusiform gyrus, anterior hippocampus and temporal pole in semantic dementia, while anterior cingulate and orbitofrontal regions were involved in behavioural variant FTD.

Conclusion: This simple visual rating can be used as an alternative to highly technical methods of quantification, and may be superior when dealing with single cases or small groups.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Visual Perception