Neuroimaging is necessary to demonstrate cerebrovascular disease (CVD) and is therefore an important examination in vascular dementia (VaD) and vascular cognitive impairment (VCI). MRI is preferred over CT because multiple planes and sequences are needed to assess various types of pathology in relevant regions. These protocols allow differentiation of VaD from other forms of dementia and sometimes identify specific underlying disorders. Different diagnostic criteria for VaD exist but the NINDS-AIREN criteria are widely used in controlled clinical trials in VaD. These criteria have relatively low sensitivity but are highly specific and include radiological requirements. The radiological criteria have poor interobserver agreement. In general, the radiological portion of the diagnostic criteria for VaD needs revision and refinement to include bone fide cases of VaD not currently accepted by imaging rules, and for the early detection of patients with VCI.
- Vascular dementia