Automated Hippocampal Subfield Measures as Predictors of Conversion from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Disease in Two Independent Cohorts

Wasim Khan, Eric Westman, Nigel Jones, Lars Olof Wahlund, Patrizia Mecocci, Bruno Vellas, Magda Tsolaki, Iwona Kłoszewska, Hilkka Soininen, Christian Spenger, Simon Lovestone, J. Sebastian Muehlboeck, Andrew Simmons

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Previous studies have shown that hippocampal subfields may be differentially affected by Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study used an automated analysis technique and two large cohorts to (1) investigate patterns of subfield volume loss in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD, (2) determine the pattern of subfield volume loss due to age, gender, education, APOE ε4 genotype, and neuropsychological test scores, (3) compare combined subfield volumes to hippocampal volume alone at discriminating between AD and healthy controls (HC), and predicting future MCI conversion to AD at 12 months. 1,069 subjects were selected from the AddNeuroMed and Alzheimer’s disease neuroimaging initiative (ADNI) cohorts. Freesurfer was used for automated segmentation of the hippocampus and hippocampal subfields. Orthogonal partial least squares to latent structures (OPLS) was used to train models on AD and HC subjects using one cohort for training and the other for testing and the combined cohort was used to predict MCI conversion. MANCOVA and linear regression analyses showed multiple subfield volumes including Cornu Ammonis 1 (CA1), subiculum and presubiculum were atrophied in AD and MCI and were related to age, gender, education, APOE ε4 genotype, and neuropsychological test scores. For classifying AD from HC, combined subfield volumes achieved comparable classification accuracy (81.7 %) to total hippocampal (80.7 %), subiculum (81.2 %) and presubiculum (80.6 %) volume. For predicting MCI conversion to AD combined subfield volumes and presubiculum volume were more accurate (81.1 %) than total hippocampal volume. (76.7 %).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)746-759
Number of pages14
JournalBrain Topography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Freesurfer
  • MCI conversion
  • MRI
  • OPLS

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