Which SPM method should be used to extract hippocampal measures in early Alzheimer's disease?

J Neuroimaging. 2011 Oct;21(4):310-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6569.2010.00548.x. Epub 2011 Jul 13.


Background and purpose: To provide guidance regarding the most appropriate voxel-based morphometry (VBM)-derived method for assessing hippocampal atrophy in early Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Methods: T1-MRI volume data were collected in 23 patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) and 18 controls. Three types of data (unmodulated and 2 types of modulated MRI) and 2 extraction methods (with reference to the hippocampal peak of atrophy identified from a preliminary whole-brain analysis, or using a template region of interest-ROI-approach) were compared to the gold-standard individual ROI (ROI-i) method through 2 statistical approaches (ANOVA and Pearson's R).

Results: First, whole-brain analyses performed on modulated data are as sensitive as the ROI-i approach in detecting aMCI patients' hippocampal atrophy. Second, values extracted from the ROI-template applied to modulated data provide measures of hippocampal volume comparable to those obtained using the ROI-i approach.

Conclusions: This study provides guidance on how to extract accurate hippocampal measures from VBM-derived data in early AD, as a time-saving and easy alternative to the reference ROI-i method.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology*
  • Atrophy
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / pathology*
  • Female
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroimaging*
  • Organ Size