In vivo visualization of senile-plaque-like pathology in Alzheimer's disease patients by mr microscopy on a 7T system

Tsutomu Nakada, Hitoshi Matsuzawa, Hironaka Igarashi, Yukihiko Fujii, Ingrid Kwee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Microscopic application of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has entered the era of clinical application. One of the most important targets is the visualization of pathological findings such as senile plaques (SP), in vivo, in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). Such an application provides not only the most accurate diagnostic tool for clinicians but also a solid basis for scientists for developing effective treatment and preventive strategies for AD. METHODS: Focused microscopic studies were performed on parietal association cortex at the level of the centrum semiovale identified on conventional axial slices using a system constructed based on General Electric Signa LX (Waukesha, WI) equipped with a 900-mm clear bore superconducting magnet operating at 7.0 T in 10 patients (67-83-year old, five males, five females) who fulfilled the NINCD and the SADRDA criteria for probable AD, 10 age-matched controls (71-85-year old, five males, five females), and 20 young adults (22-35-year old, 10 males, 10 females) using a susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) algorithm. RESULTS: SWI microscopy consistently provided images with SP-like pathology extending within the entire parietal cortex in all cases of AD and 2 out of 10 age-matched volunteers. CONCLUSIONS: Although the precise mechanisms leading to the higher susceptibility rendering SP-like pathology observable within the cortical mantle are not totally understood, the study unambiguously demonstrated that MR microscopy is capable of directly visualizing cortical pathology in AD patients in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-129
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • 7T MRI
  • Alzheimer disease
  • MR microscopy
  • Senile plaque

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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