Hippocampal Volumetry

Automated segmentation of the hippocampus, and quantification of hippocampal atrophy.

The hippocampus was segmented in a patient with Alzheimer's disease. Its volume is much below normal, taking into account the patient's age. Global brain atrophy can also be observed.


The hippocampus is a structure located in the temporal lobe of the brain. It belongs to the limbic system. The hippocampus plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory, and in spatial memory that enables navigation.

Hippocampal Atrophy in Alzheimer's Disease

Atrophy of the medial temporal lobe (and especially, of the hippocampus and the entorhinal cortex) is a biomarker of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease progression. The rate of atrophy varies from 3 to 6% per year in Alzheimer’s disease, whereas it is limited to 0.3–2.2% per year in normal aging (Frisoni et al., 2010). Although visual rating scales or the manual outlining of the hippocampus can be used, automated software programs, such as BrainMagix's SurferMagix module, reduce the interaction time and increase the reliability of the measurement. A harmonized protocol for hippocampal volumetry has been defined in order to reduce the variability between the studies (Frisoni and Jack, 2011).


  • Frisoni et al. The clinical use of structural MRI in Alzheimer disease. Nat Rev Neurol 2010, 6:67–77.
  • Frisoni & Jack. Harmonization of magnetic resonance-based manual hippocampal segmentation: a mandatory step for wide clinical use. Alzheimers Dement. 2011, 7:171-174.

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