Parieto-occipital sulcus widening differentiates posterior cortical atrophy from typical Alzheimer disease

Giorgio G. Fumagalli*, Paola Basilico, Andrea Arighi, Matteo Mercurio, Marta Scarioni, Tiziana Carandini, Annalisa Colombi, Anna M. Pietroboni, Luca Sacchi, Giorgio Conte, Elisa Scola, Fabio Triulzi, Elio Scarpini, Daniela Galimberti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA) is an atypical presentation of Alzheimer disease (AD) characterized by atrophy of posterior brain regions. This pattern of atrophy is usually evaluated with Koedam visual rating scale, a score developed to enable visual assessment of parietal atrophy on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, Koedam scale is complex to assess and its utility in the differential diagnosis between PCA and typical AD has not been demonstrated yet. The aim of this study is therefore to spot a simple and reliable MRI element able to differentiate between PCA and typical AD using visual rating scales. Methods: 15 patients who presented with progressive complex visual disorders and predominant occipitoparietal hypometabolism on PET-FDG were selected from our centre and compared with 30 typical AD patients and 15 healthy subjects. We used previously validated visual rating scales including Koedam scale, which we divided into three major components: posterior cingulate, precuneus and parieto-occipital. Subsequently we validated the results using the automated software Brainvisa Morphologist and Voxel Based Morphometry (VBM). Results: Patients with PCA, compared to typical AD, showed higher widening of the parieto-occipital sulcus, assessed both with visual rating scales and Brainvisa. In the corresponding areas, the VBM analysis showed an inverse correlation between the results obtained from the visual evaluation scales with the volume of the grey matter and a direct correlation between the same results with the cerebrospinal fluid volume. Conclusions: A visually based rating scale for parieto-occipital sulcus can distinguish Posterior Cortical Atrophy from typical Alzheimer disease.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102453
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

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