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Abstract #3479

White matter lesions highly influence group comparison of diffusion tensor imaging metrics

Daniel Svärd1,2, Markus Nilsson3, Björn Lampinen4, Jimmy Lätt2, Pia Sundgren1,2, Erik Stomrud5, Lennart Minthon5, Katarina Nägga5, Oskar Hansson5,6, and Danielle van Westen1,2

1Diagnostic Radiology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 2Center for Medical Imaging and Physiology, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden, 3Lund University Bioimaging Center, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 4Department of Medical Radiation Physics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, 5Clinical Memory Research Unit, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden, 6Neurology, Clinical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

White matter lesions (WML) are common in cognitively healthy elderly and their presence in a brain region is associated with elevated mean diffusivity (MD) and reduced fractional anisotropy (FA). We compared patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) to control groups with different prevalence of WML. Our results showed that including subjects with WML in the control group highly influence the outcome of statistical analysis of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) metrics. We conclude that WML should be taken into consideration when designing and interpreting DTI studies.

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