Normative brain volumetry derived from different reference populations: impact on single-subject diagnostic assessment in dementia.


Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Department of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]


Brain imaging data are increasingly made publicly accessible, and volumetric imaging measures derived from population-based cohorts may serve as normative data for individual patient diagnostic assessment. Yet, these normative cohorts are usually not a perfect reflection of a patient's base population, nor are imaging parameters such as field strength or scanner type similar. In this proof of principle study, we assessed differences between reference curves of subcortical structure volumes of normal controls derived from two population-based studies and a case-control study. We assessed the impact of any differences on individual assessment of brain structure volumes. Percentile curves were fitted on the three healthy cohorts. Next, percentile values for these subcortical structures for individual patients from these three cohorts, 91 mild cognitive impairment and 95 Alzheimer's disease cases and patients from the Alzheimer Center, were calculated, based on the distributions of each of the three cohorts. Overall, we found that the subcortical volume normative data from these cohorts are highly interchangeable, suggesting more flexibility in clinical implementation.


Imaging,MRI,Normative data,Subcortical brain volume,

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