Differential diagnosis between Alzheimer's and frontotemporal disease by the posterior cingulate sign

Frederick J. Bonte, Thomas S. Harris, Celeste A. Roney, Linda S. Hynan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

This was a study to evaluate the posterior cingulate sign in differential diagnosis between Alzheimer's and frontotemporal disease. The impending availability of effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease makes this differential diagnosis important. Methods: Images of 20 patients with clinically confirmed or autopsy-proven (10 patients) Alzheimer's disease and 20 patients with clinically confirmed or autopsy-proven (7 patients) frontotemporal disease were compared with the consolidated images of 20 elderly healthy control subjects. The 99mTc-hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime SPECT data on brain blood flow from each patient were compared with the consolidated control image using statistical parametric mapping. Results: Sixteen of 20 patients with Alzheimer's disease showed the posterior cingulate sign in the form of significant blood flow reductions; 1 of 20 patients with frontotemporal disease showed the posterior cingulate sign. That patient's illness has evolved into Alzheimer's disease. The remaining 19 patients were negative for the posterior cingulate sign. Conclusion: When present, the posterior cingulate sign indicates the presence of Alzheimer's disease; it is apparently absent in frontotemporal disease, thus serving as a differential diagnostic sign. It was absent in 3 patients with proven tangle-predominant Alzheimer's disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)771-774
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Volume45
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2004

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Frontotemporal disease
  • Posterior cingulate sign
  • SPECT brain blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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