Background: MRI is an important clinical tool for diagnosing dementia-like diseases such as Frontemporal Dementia (FTD). However there is a need to develop more accurate and standardized MRI analysis methods. Objective: To compare FTD with Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) with three automatic MRI analysis methods - Hippocampal Volumetry (HV), Tensor-based Morphometry (TBM) and Voxel-based Morphometry (VBM), in specific regions of interest in order to determine the highest classification accuracy. Methods: Thirty-seven patients with FTD, 46 patients with AD, 26 control subjects, 16 patients with progressive MCI (PMCI) and 48 patients with stable MCI (SMCI) were examined with HV, TBM for shape change, and VBM for gray matter density. We calculated the Correct Classification Rate (CCR), sensitivity (SS) and specificity (SP) between the study groups. Results: We found unequivocal results differentiating controls from FTD with HV (hippocampus left side) (CCR = 0.83; SS = 0.84; SP = 0.80), with TBM (hippocampus and amygdala (CCR = 0.80/SS = 0.71/SP = 0.94), and with VBM (all the regions studied, especially in lateral ventricle frontal horn, central part and occipital horn) (CCR = 0.87/SS = 0.81/SP = 0.96). VBM achieved the highest accuracy in differentiating AD and FTD (CCR = 0.72/SS = 0.67/SP = 0.76), particularly in lateral ventricle (frontal horn, central part and occipital horn) (CCR = 0.73), whereas TBM in superior frontal gyrus also achieved a high accuracy (CCR = 0.71/SS = 0.68/SP = 0.73). TBM resulted in low accuracy (CCR = 0.62) in the differentiation of AD from FTD using all regions of interest, with similar results for HV (CCR = 0.55). Conclusion: Hippocampal atrophy is present not only in AD but also in FTD. Of the methods used, VBM achieved the highest accuracy in its ability to differentiate between FTD and AD.
2012. Vol. 7, no 12, e52531- p.