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Neuroimage. 2008 Jul 15;41(4):1220-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.03.050. Epub 2008 Apr 8.

Individual patient diagnosis of AD and FTD via high-dimensional pattern classification of MRI.

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Section of Biomedical Image Analysis, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, 3600 Market street, Suite 380, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


The purpose of this study is to determine the diagnostic accuracy of MRI-based high-dimensional pattern classification in differentiating between patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), and healthy controls, on an individual patient basis. MRI scans of 37 patients with AD and 37 age-matched cognitively normal elderly individuals, as well as 12 patients with FTD and 12 age-matched cognitively normal elderly individuals, were analyzed using voxel-based analysis and high-dimensional pattern classification. Diagnostic sensitivity and specificity of spatial patterns of regional brain atrophy found to be characteristic of AD and FTD were determined via cross-validation and via split-sample methods. Complex spatial patterns of relatively reduced brain volumes were identified, including temporal, orbitofrontal, parietal and cingulate regions, which were predominantly characteristic of either AD or FTD. These patterns provided 100% diagnostic accuracy, when used to separate AD or FTD from healthy controls. The ability to correctly distinguish AD from FTD averaged 84.3%. All estimates of diagnostic accuracy were determined via cross-validation. In conclusion, AD- and FTD-specific patterns of brain atrophy can be detected with high accuracy using high-dimensional pattern classification of MRI scans obtained in a typical clinical setting.

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