Automatic normative quantification of brain tissue volume to support the diagnosis of dementia: A clinical evaluation of diagnostic accuracy

Meike W Vernooij, Bas Jasperse, Rebecca Steketee, Marcel Koek, Henri Vrooman, M Arfan Ikram, Janne Papma, Aad van der Lugt, Marion Smits, Wiro J Niessen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To assesses whether automated brain image analysis with quantification of structural brain changes improves diagnostic accuracy in a memory clinic setting.

Methods: In 42 memory clinic patients, we evaluated whether automated quantification of brain tissue volumes, hippocampal volume and white matter lesion volume improves diagnostic accuracy for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), compared to visual interpretation. Reference data were derived from a dementia-free aging population (n = 4915, aged >45 years), and were expressed as age- and sex-specific percentiles. Experienced radiologists determined the most likely imaging-based diagnosis based on structural brain MRI using three strategies (visual assessment of MRI only, quantitative normative information only, or a combination of both). Diagnostic accuracy of each strategy was calculated with the clinical diagnosis as the reference standard.

Results: Providing radiologists with only quantitative data decreased diagnostic accuracy both for AD and FTD compared to conventional visual rating. The combination of quantitative with visual information, however, led to better diagnostic accuracy compared to only visual ratings for AD. This was not the case for FTD.

Conclusion: Quantitative assessment of structural brain MRI combined with a reference standard in addition to standard visual assessment may improve diagnostic accuracy in a memory clinic setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-379
Number of pages6
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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