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May 1990

Periventricular and White Matter Magnetic Resonance Imaging Hyperintensities Do Not Differ Between Alzheimer's Disease and Normal Aging

Author Affiliations

From the Association for the Study and Research on Alzheimer's Disease, and the Departments of Neurology (Drs Leys, Soetaert, Petit, and Fauquette), Neuroradiology (Dr Pruvo), and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Dr Steinling), University of Lille (France).

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(5):524-527. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530050040010

• We studied normotensive and nondiabetic subjects, free of cardiac disorders, to determine whether Alzheimer's disease is a possible factor of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) white matter or periventricular hyperintensities, and to investigate relationships between computed tomographic scan and MRI changes. We failed to reveal (1) any difference in the severity of MRI white matter and periventricular hyperintensities between patients and controls, (2) any correlation of MRI white matter and periventricular hyperintensities with either ages or Mini-Mental State Examination scores. We found (1) a poor interobserver agreement, and (2) a correlation between computed tomographic scan and MRI white matter changes but not between computed tomographic and MRI periventricular changes. We conclude that MRI periventricular and white matter hyperintensities are frequent incidental findings in the elderly and do not significantly differ between patients with Alzheimer's disease and healthy controls.