What is the sensitivity and specificity of CT findings of hippocampal atrophy in the diagnosis of Alzheimer disease?

Updated: Apr 12, 2018
  • Author: Tarakad S Ramachandran, MBBS, MBA, MPH, FAAN, FACP, FAHA, FRCP, FRCPC, FRS, LRCP, MRCP, MRCS; Chief Editor: L Gill Naul, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Changes in the rate of atrophy progression can be useful in diagnosing Alzheimer disease. [22, 23, 24] Longitudinal changes in brain size are associated with longitudinal progression of cognitive loss, [25] and enlargement of the third and lateral ventricles is greater in patients with Alzheimer disease than in control subjects. [26]

CT scan indices of hippocampal atrophy are highly associated with Alzheimer disease, but the specificity is not well established. Use of a nonquantitative rating scale showed a sensitivity of 81% and a specificity of 67% in differentiating 21 patients with Alzheimer disease with moderate dementia from 21 age-matched control subjects. [27] Hippocampal volumes in a sample of similar size permitted correct classification of 85% of control subjects. [28]


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