NINDS AIREN neuroimaging criteria do not distinguish stroke patients with and without dementia

C G Ballard, E J Burton, R Barber, S Stephens, R A Kenny, R N Kalaria, J T O'Brien
Neurology 2004 September 28, 63 (6): 983-8

OBJECTIVE: To determine the utility of the neuroimaging component within the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Association Internationale pour la Recherche et l'Enseignement en Neurosciences (AIREN) criteria for vascular dementia for distinguishing between patients with and without dementia in the context of cerebrovascular disease.

METHOD: One hundred twenty-five poststroke patients age > or =75 (27 with and 98 without poststroke dementia) from representative hospital-based stroke registers in the North East of England were evaluated using a 1.5 T MR scanner. The proportion of patients with and without poststroke dementia meeting the imaging component of the NINDS AIREN criteria was determined, and hippocampal atrophy (measured using the Schelten scale) was compared between the two groups.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences between the patients with and without poststroke dementia on any criteria of the imaging parameters within the NINDS AIREN criteria. In addition, there were no significant differences in the number or size of cortical or subcortical infarcts between the two groups, with 13 patients without dementia having cortical infarcts >50 mm. Patients with dementia had greater hippocampal atrophy (right: Mann-Whitney U test, Z = 2.5, p = 0.01; left: Mann-Whitney U test, Z = 2.5, p = 0.01).

CONCLUSION: The neuroimaging component of the NINDS AIREN criteria does not distinguish between older patients with and without poststroke dementia.

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