Evidence-based evaluation of magnetic resonance imaging as a diagnostic tool in dementia workup

Lars-Olof Wahlund, Ove Almkvist, Kaj Blennow, Knut Engedahl, Aki Johanson, Gunhild Waldemar, Henrike Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: The diagnostic utility of magnetic resonance imaging in dementia workups has increased recently. The basic use is to exclude space-occupying processes in the brain. However, magnetic resonance imaging offers major opportunities for studying atrophy of specific brain areas. A great interest has been put in whether atrophy in the medial temporal lobe can serve as an early diagnostic marker for Alzheimer disease.
METHODS AND RESULTS: In this evaluation, we used evidence-based techniques and reviewed more than 400 articles that address this issue. Our main finding is that a variety of methods in studying brain areas were used, and this made it difficult to extract conclusive information in a systematic way.
CONCLUSION: However, we were able to conclude that atrophy of the hippocampus can distinguish patients with Alzheimer disease from healthy subjects, but there was a lack of evidence because of insufficient studies concerning the usefulness of medial temporal lobe atrophy as a diagnostic marker in a more general setting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-437
JournalTopics in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

PMID: 17088692 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Psychology


  • Dementia workup
  • medial temporal lobe
  • Alzheimer disease
  • specificity
  • sensitivity
  • likelihood ratios
  • evidence-based medicine
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • diagnosis


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