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International Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 979804, 6 pages
Research Article

Test-Retest Reliability of a New Medial Temporal Atrophy Morphological Metric

1Département de Radiologie, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Quebec, QC, Canada G1V 0A6
2Institut Universitaire en Santé Mentale de Québec, Quebec, QC, Canada G1J 2G3

Received 9 May 2012; Revised 11 July 2012; Accepted 20 August 2012

Academic Editor: Michelle M. Mielke

Copyright © 2012 Simon Duchesne et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Clinicians and researchers alike are in need of quantitative and robust measurement tools to assess medial temporal lobe atrophy (MTA) due to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We recently proposed a morphological metric, extracted from T1-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRI), to track and estimate MTA in cohorts of controls, AD, and mild cognitive impairment subjects, at high-risk of progression to dementia. In this paper, we investigated its reliability through analysis of within-session scan/repeat images and scan/rescans from large multicenter studies. In total, we used MRI data from 1051 subjects recruited at over 60 centers. We processed the data identically and calculated our metric for each individual, based on the concept of distance in a high-dimensional space of intensity and shape characteristics. Over 759 subjects, the scan/repeat change in the mean was 1.97% (SD: 21.2%). Over three subjects, the scan/rescan change in the mean was 0.89% (SD: 22.1%). At this level, the minimum trial size required to detect this difference is 68 individuals for both samples. Our scan/repeat and scan/rescan results demonstrate that our MTA assessment metric shows high reliability, a necessary component of validity.