Diagnostic Accuracy of the Frontotemporal Dementia Consensus Criteria in the Late-Onset Frontal Lobe Syndrome

Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2016;41(3-4):210-9. doi: 10.1159/000444849. Epub 2016 May 5.


Background/aims: We aimed to prospectively assess the diagnostic accuracy of the revised criteria for behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) among subjects presenting with a frontal lobe syndrome in middle-late adulthood.

Methods: Patients were included based on a predominant behavioural clinical presentation, a Frontal Behavioural Inventory (FBI) score of ≥11 and/or a Stereotypy Rating Inventory (SRI) score of ≥10. At baseline, the fulfilment of the international consensus criteria for behavioural variant FTD (FTDC) was systematically recorded. The 2-year follow-up consensus diagnosis was used as the gold standard to calculate sensitivity and specificity of the FTDC criteria for possible and probable bvFTD.

Results: Two-year follow-up data were available for 116 patients (85%). Two-year follow-up consensus diagnoses consisted of probable/definite bvFTD (n = 27), other dementia (n = 30), psychiatric disorders (n = 46) and other neurological disorders (n = 13). Sensitivity for possible bvFTD was 85% (95% CI 70-95%) at a specificity of 27% (95% CI 19-37%). Sensitivity for probable bvFTD was 85% (95% CI 69-95%), whereas their specificity was 82% (95% CI 73-89%).

Conclusions: We found a good diagnostic accuracy for FTDC probable bvFTD. However, the specificity for FTDC possible bvFTD was low. Our results reflect the symptomatic overlap between bvFTD, other neurological conditions and psychiatric disorders, and the relevance of adding neuroimaging to the diagnostic process.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Frontotemporal Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity