Assessment of longitudinal hippocampal atrophy in the first year after ischemic stroke using automatic segmentation techniques

Mohamed Salah Khlif, Emilio Werden, Natalia Egorova, Marina Boccardi, Alberto Redolfi, Laura Bird, Amy Brodtmann

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17 Citations (Scopus)


We assessed first-year hippocampal atrophy in stroke patients and healthy controls using manual and automated segmentations: AdaBoost, FIRST (fsl/v5.0.8), FreeSurfer/v5.3 and v6.0, and Subfields (in FreeSurfer/v6.0). We estimated hippocampal volumes in 39 healthy controls and 124 stroke participants at three months, and 38 controls and 113 stroke participants at one year. We used intra-class correlation, concordance, and reduced major axis regression to assess agreement between automated and ‘Manual’ estimations. A linear mixed-effect model was used to characterize hippocampal atrophy. Overall, hippocampal volumes were reduced by 3.9% in first-ever stroke and 9.2% in recurrent stroke at three months post-stroke, with comparable ipsi-and contra-lesional reductions in first-ever stroke. Mean atrophy rates between time points were 0.5% for controls and 1.0% for stroke patients (0.6% contra-lesionally, 1.4% ipsi-lesionally). Atrophy rates in left and right-hemisphere strokes were comparable. All methods revealed significant volume change in first-ever and ipsi-lesional stroke (p < 0.001). Hippocampal volume estimation was not impacted by hemisphere, study group, or scan time point, but rather, by the interaction between the automated segmentation method and hippocampal size. Compared to Manual, Subfields and FIRST recorded the lowest bias. FreeSurfer/v5.3 overestimated volumes the most for large hippocampi, while FIRST was the most accurate in estimating small volumes. AdaBoost performance was average. Our findings suggest that first-year ipsi-lesional hippocampal atrophy rate especially in first-ever stroke, is greater than atrophy rates in healthy controls and contra-lesional stroke. Subfields and FIRST can complementarily be effective in characterizing the hippocampal atrophy in healthy and stroke cohorts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102008
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroImage: Clinical
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Freesurfer
  • Hippocampal atrophy
  • Linear mixed-effect model
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Stroke

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