Comprehensive Visual Rating Scale on Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Application to Prodromal Alzheimer Disease

Ann Geriatr Med Res. 2021 Mar;25(1):39-44. doi: 10.4235/agmr.21.0010. Epub 2021 Mar 15.


Background: A comprehensive visual rating scale (CVRS) using brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was previously developed to evaluate structural changes in the brains of older patients. This study investigated the usefulness of the CVRS in predicting dementia with Alzheimer disease (AD) in patients with prodromal AD.

Methods: We included 189 patients with prodromal AD with available data from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study. We evaluated all patients using CVRS and assessed their progression to AD dementia over 3 years of longitudinal follow-up. Survival analysis was performed using the Cox proportional hazards model to analyze the hazard ratios of the CVRS for progression to AD dementia.

Results: Among 189 patients with prodromal AD, 61 (32.3%) progressed to dementia. The mean baseline CVRS scores differed significantly between the stable and progressive groups (9.9±5.1 vs. 12.4±4.9; p=0.002). An initial high CVRS score was an independent risk factor for the progression to AD dementia (hazard ratio=1.110; 95% confidence interval, 1.043-1.182).

Conclusion: The baseline CVRS score predicted the progression to dementia in patients with prodromal AD, indicating its independent association with longitudinal cognitive decline.

Keywords: Alzheimer disease; Cognitive dysfunction; Magnetic resonance imaging.