J Korean Soc Magn Reson Med.  2012 Aug;16(2):115-123. 10.13104/jksmrm.2012.16.2.115.

Evaluation of White Matter Abnormality in Mild Alzheimer Disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment Using Diffusion Tensor Imaging: A Comparison of Tract-Based Spatial Statistics with Voxel-Based Morphometry

  • 1Department of Radiology and Research Institute of Radiology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Korea. sjkimjb@amc.seoul.kr
  • 2Department of Neurology, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry and Health Promotion Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Korea.
  • 4Division of Magnetic Resonance, Korea Basic Science Institute, Ochang-Eup, Korea.
  • 5Department of Radiology, Kyung Hee East-West Neo Medial Center, Kyung Hee University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


To evaluate white matter abnormalities on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in patients with mild Alzheimer disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), using tract-based spatial statistics (TBSS) and voxel-based morphometry (VBM).
DTI was performed in 21 patients with mild AD, in 13 with MCI and in 16 old healthy subjects. A fractional anisotropy (FA) map was generated for each participant and processed for voxel-based comparisons among the three groups using TBSS. For comparison, DTI data was processed using the VBM method, also.
TBSS showed that FA was significantly lower in the AD than in the old healthy group in the bilateral anterior and right posterior corona radiata, the posterior thalamic radiation, the right superior longitudinal fasciculus, the body of the corpus callosum, and the right precuneus gyrus. VBM identified additional areas of reduced FA, including both uncinates, the left parahippocampal white matter, and the right cingulum. There were no significant differences in FA between the AD and MCI groups, or between the MCI and old healthy groups.
TBSS showed multifocal abnormalities in white matter integrity in patients with AD compared with old healthy group. VBM could detect more white matter lesions than TBSS, but with increased artifacts.


Alzheimer disease; Mild cognitive impairment; Tract-based spatial statistics; Voxel-based morphometry; Diffusion tensor imaging
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