Analysis of brain and cerebrospinal fluid volumes with MR imaging: impact on PET data correction for atrophy. Part II. Aging and Alzheimer dementia

Radiology. 1991 Jan;178(1):123-30. doi: 10.1148/radiology.178.1.1984290.


A new, computerized segmentation technique, in which magnetic resonance (MR) imaging produces accurate volumetric measurements of brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) without the limitations of computed tomography, was used in a retrospective analysis of digitized T2-weighted MR images of 16 healthy elderly control subjects and 16 patients with Alzheimer dementia. Ventricular and extraventricular CSF was quantified, and the effects of aging were studied; in both groups, the atrophy measurement was used to correct metabolic values obtained with positron emission tomography. Patients with Alzheimer dementia had higher total CSF; extraventricular, total ventricular, and third ventricular CSF volumes (49%, 37%, 99%, and 74%, respectively); and 7% lower brain volumes than the control group. The patients also showed a more marked decline in brain volumes and a greater increase in CSF volumes with advancing age than the control group. They had a 25.0% increase in corrected whole-brain metabolic rates; the control group had only a 15.8% increase. The use of this technique may provide a basis for further studies of aging and dementia, including regional volume analysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Atrophy
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*