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Abstract #1839

White matter hyperintensities as a confounder in diffusion tensor imaging analysis of elderly cohorts

Daniel Svrd 1 , Filip Szczepankiewicz 2 , Markus Nilsson 3 , Bjrn Lampinen 2 , Jimmy Ltt 4 , Pia Sundgren 1,4 , Erik Stomrud 5 , Lennart Minthon 5 , Katarina Ngga 5 , Oskar Hansson 5 , and Danielle van Westen 1,4

1 Diagnostic Radiology, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 2 Department of Medical Radiation Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 3 Lund University Bioimaging Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 4 Center for Medical Imaging and Physiology, Skne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden, 5 Clinical Memory Research Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences Malm, Lund University, Malm, Sweden

Studies on the effect of white matter hyperintensities (WMH), appearing on T2-weighted images, on diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters are scarce in spite of their abundance in normal aging as well as in neurodegenerative disease. Here we quantify the effect size of WMH graded according to Fazekas on DTI parameters mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy in a healthy elderly cohort using ROI-based analysis. We show that WMH have effect sizes comparable to that of some neurodegenerative diseases and therefore may be an important factor taken into consideration when designing DTI studies including groups with different WMH load.

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