BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Asymmetry of the hippocampus is regarded as an important clinical finding, but limited data on hippocampal asymmetry are available for the general population. Here we present hippocampal asymmetry data from the Dallas Heart Study determined by automated methods and its relationship to age, sex, and ethnicity. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 3D magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition of gradient echo MR imaging was performed in 2082 DHS-2 participants. The MR images were analyzed by using 2 standard automated brain-segmentation programs, FSL-FIRST and FreeSurfer. Individuals with imaging errors, self-reported stroke, or major structural abnormalities were excluded. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the significance of the findings across age, sex, and ethnicity. RESULTS: At the 90th percentile, FSL-FIRST demonstrated hippocampal asymmetry of 9.8% (95% CI, 9.3%-10.5%). The 90th percentile of hippocampal asymmetry, measured by the difference in right and left hippocampi volume and the larger hippocampus, was 17.9% (95% CI, 17.0%-19.1%). Hippocampal asymmetry increases with age (P=.0216), men have greater asymmetry than women as shown by FSL-FIRST (P= .0036), but ethnicity is not significantly correlated with asymmetry. To confirm these findings, we used FreeSurfer. FreeSurfer showed asymmetry of 4.4% (95% CI, 4.3%- 4.7%) normalized to total volume and 8.5% (95% CI, 8.3%-9.0%) normalized by difference/larger hippocampus. FreeSurfer also showed that hippocampal asymmetry increases with age (P = .0024) and that men had greater asymmetry than women (P = .03). CONCLUSIONS: There is a significant degree of hippocampal asymmetry in the population. The data provided will aid in the research, diagnosis, and treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy and other neurologic disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology