RSNA 2012 

Abstract Archives of the RSNA, 2012


Gender Differences in Gray Matter Atrophy Patterns in the Progression from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Disease

Scientific Formal (Paper) Presentations

Presented on November 26, 2012
Presented as part of SSE16: Neuroradiology (Dementia)


Maria Vittoria Spampinato MD, Presenter: Nothing to Disclose
Markus Weininger MD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
Hrvoje Vavro, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
Ryan O'Neal Parker PhD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
Karen Elizabeth Patrick, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
Zoran Rumboldt MD, Abstract Co-Author: Research Grant, Siemens AG


To assess if there are gender specific differences in gray matter (GM) volume loss patterns in patients with newly diagnosed Alzheimer's disease (AD).


We included 109 patients (60 men; mean age 77±7 years) from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative cohort, who during study participation progressed from amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) to AD. Brain MRIs obtained one year before conversion from aMCI to AD, at the time of AD diagnosis, and after 12 months were available. Voxel-based morphometry was used to process MPRAGE images. The General Linear Model Repeated Measures was performed to evaluate for differences over time in disease severity, using Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB). Cross-sectional and longitudinal imaging data analyses included two-sample and paired t-tests. Total intracranial volume was included as nuisance variable. Results were considered significant with p<0.05 after family wise error rate correction for multiple comparisons.


There was significant progressive cognitive decline in both genders (p<0.001) with significant interaction between CDR-SB and gender (p=0.035), and with significantly worse cognitive status in males than females at the time of AD diagnosis. Cross-sectional comparison showed significant greater atrophy in females: in the posterior cingulate gyri 12 months before AD diagnosis; in the bilateral middle temporal gyrus, bilateral cingulate gyrus, left subcallosal gyrus, and right insula at the time of AD diagnosis; there were no differences in GM volume 12 months after AD diagnosis. No areas of greater GM atrophy were found in males. Longitudinal analyses revealed gender specific differences in GM volume loss during the 12 months before AD diagnosis (women: bilateral uncus; men: bilateral inferior frontal lobe, right uncus;) and during the 12 months after AD diagnosis (women: left hippocampus, bilateral temporal, and right parietal lobes; men: bilateral hippocampus, right parahippocampal gyrus, left insula, left caudate, left frontal, and left parietal lobes).  


Our data indicate that the extent and distribution of regional GM volume loss in patients with progression from MCI to AD is strongly influenced by the gender.


Gender differences in GM atrophy patterns have potential important implications for therapeutic approaches in AD and should be taken into consideration in clinical trials.

Cite This Abstract

Spampinato, M, Weininger, M, Vavro, H, Parker, R, Patrick, K, Rumboldt, Z, Gender Differences in Gray Matter Atrophy Patterns in the Progression from Mild Cognitive Impairment to Alzheimer’s Disease.  Radiological Society of North America 2012 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, November 25 - November 30, 2012 ,Chicago IL.