Imaging biomarkers of dementia: recommended visual rating scales with teaching cases

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Abstract: The diagnostic work up of dementia may benefit from structured reporting of CT and/or MRI and the use of standardised visual rating scales. We advocate a more widespread use of standardised scales as part of the workflow in clinical and research evaluation of dementia. We propose routine clinical use of rating scales for medial temporal atrophy (MTA), global cortical atrophy (GCA) and white matter hyperintensities (WMH). These scales can be used for evaluation of both CT and MRI and are efficient in routine imaging assessment in dementia, and may improve the accuracy of diagnosis. Our review provides detailed imaging examples of rating increments in each of these scales and a separate teaching file. The radiologist should relate visual ratings to the clinical assessment and other biomarkers to assist the clinician in the diagnostic decision. Teaching points: • Clinical dementia diagnostics would benefit from structured radiological reporting. • Standardised rating scales should be used in dementia assessment. • It is important to relate imaging findings to the clinically suspected diagnosis.


  • Lars -Olof Wahlund
  • Eric Westman
  • Danielle van Westen
  • Anders Wallin
  • Sara Shams
  • Lena Cavallin
  • Elna Marie Larsson
External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University of Gothenburg
  • Karolinska University Hospital
  • Uppsala University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • Alzheimer’s disease, CT, Dementia, Imaging, MRI
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-90
Number of pages12
JournalInsights into Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1
Publication categoryResearch