Association of imaging abnormalities of the subcallosal septal area with Alzheimer's disease and mild cognitive impairment

C.L. Gan, M.J. O'Sullivan, C. Metzler-Baddeley, S. Halpin

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: To evaluate the use the distance between the adjacent septal nuclei as a surrogate marker of septal area atrophy seen in Alzheimer's disease (AD). 
Materials & Methods: Interseptal distance (ISD) was measured, blind to clinical details, in 250 patients who underwent computed tomography (CT) of the brain at University Hospital of Wales. Clinical details including memory problem history were retrieved. An ISD cut-off value that discriminated those with and without memory symptoms was sought. ISD measurements were also made in 20 AD patients. To test both the method and the defined cut-off, measurements were then made in an independent cohort of 21 mild cognitive impairment (MCI) patients and 45 age-matched healthy controls, in a randomised and blinded fashion. 
Results: ISD measurement was achieved in all patients. In 28 patients with memory symptoms, the mean ISD was 5.9 mm compared with 2.3 mm in those without overt symptoms (p=0.001). The optimum ISD cut-off value was 4 mm (sensitivity 85.7% and specificity 85.8%). All AD patients had an ISD of >4 mm (mean ISD= 6.1 mm). The mean ISD for MCI patients was 3.84 mm compared with 2.18 mm in age-matched healthy controls (p=0.001). Using a 4 mm cut-off correctly categorised 10 mild cognitive impairment patients (47.6%) and 38 healthy controls (84.4%). 
Conclusion: ISD is a simple and reliable surrogate measurement for septal area atrophy, applicable to CT and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). It can be used to help select patients for further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Radiology
Early online date30 Aug 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Aug 2017


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