Differential regional atrophy of the cingulate gyrus in Alzheimer disease: A volumetric MRI study

Bethany F. Jones, Josephine Barnes, Harry B.M. Uylings, Nick C. Fox, Chris Frost, Menno P. Witter, Philip Scheltens

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Magnetic resonance imaging-based volumetric measurements provide a useful technique for quantifying in vivo regional cerebral atrophy in Alzheimer disease (AD). Histopathological studies have shown the cingulate cortex, a cytoarchitectonically heterogeneous region, to be severely affected in AD. In this study, we developed and validated a manual segmentation protocol, based on macroscopic characteristics such as gyri and sulci patterns, in order to assess volumetric changes in 4 cingulate regions of interest. Cingulate cortical volumes of 10 familial AD patients were compared with 10 age- and sex-matched controls. Inter- and intrarater reliability coefficients were high for all cingulate regions (91.9-99.4%). All 4 cingulate regions were significantly smaller (P < 0.05) in AD cases compared with controls: rostral anterior cingulate gyrus (22.5% smaller), caudal anterior cingulate gyrus (20.7% smaller), posterior cingulate gyrus (44.1% smaller), and retrosplenial cortex (21.5% smaller). The atrophy in the posterior cingulate region was significantly greater than that in other cingulate regions (P < 0.001), suggesting a higher vulnerability for this region in familial AD. Considering the functional and connectional differences of these 4 cingulate regions, detection and monitoring of their atrophy may provide insights into the natural history of AD and may help in the search for diagnostic markers for early AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1708
Number of pages8
JournalCerebral cortex
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006


  • Anterior cingulate cortex
  • Dementia
  • Posterior cingulate cortex
  • Retrosplenial cortex
  • Volumetry

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