Background: Alzheimer's disease is the commonest cause of dementia. Clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease may be difficult. Magnetic resonance imaging has a role to play in diagnosis.
Aim: To assess whether volumetric and/or visual assessment of the mesial temporal structures is useful in separating patients with Alzheimer's disease from age matched controls.
Methods: Twenty-four patients with Alzheimer's disease diagnosed by NINCDS/ADRDA criteria and 15 age matched controls were studied with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and volumetric techniques. Segmented volumes of the mesial temporal structures were assessed visually and volumetrically.
Results: Volumetric analysis demonstrated significant (p < .001) differences between the two groups, but showed overlap in individual cases. Discriminant function analysis predicted correct group membership (patient or control) in 85% of cases. Visual assessment alone demonstrated a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 93% in distinguishing the Alzheimer patients from controls.
Conclusion: Volumetric and visual assessment of the mesial temporal structures is useful in separating Alzheimer patients from controls. Overlap is present in individual cases. Visual assessment was as useful in separating the two groups as the volumetric analysis.