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April 1988

Age-Related Differences in Computed Tomographic Scan Measurements

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester (NY) Medical School (Dr Stafford); the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Division on Aging, Harvard Medical School (Dr Albert), the Department of Neurology, Boston University Medical Center (Dr Naeser), the Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital (Dr Sandor), and the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic (Dr Garvey), Boston.

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(4):409-415. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520280055016

• Seventy-nine healthy men ranging in age from 31 to 87 years underwent a computed tomographic (CT) scan and were administered a neuropsychologic test battery. Midventricular, high ventricular, and supraventricular CT slices were analyzed for each individual. Computerized techniques calculated the percent of fluid volume and the mean CT density for each slice. The mean CT density of a standard tissue sample was also evaluated. The results suggest that fluid volume at the level of the ventricles is fairly stable until individuals are in their 60s, when a dramatic increase occurs. The percent of fluid volume above the level of the ventricles appears to increase slightly in the 50s and then level off. Whole slice mean CT density numbers decreased in a linear fashion with increasing age, but the mean CT density of a standard tissue sample did not. A discriminant function derived from the CT measures was significantly correlated with a discriminant function derived from the neuropsychologic test battery. Findings based on subjects whose health status has been less carefully screened may differ from those in the present study.

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