The Italian Alzheimer's disease neuroimaging initiative (I-ADNI): Validation of structural MR imaging

Enrica Cavedo, Alberto Redolfi, Francesco Angeloni, Claudio Babiloni, Roberta Lizio, Luisa Chiapparini, Maria G. Bruzzone, Domenico Aquino, Umberto Sabatini, Marcella Alesiani, Andrea Cherubini, Elena Salvatore, Andrea Soricelli, Fabrizio Vernieri, Federica Scrascia, Elena Sinforiani, Patrizia Chiarati, Stefano Bastianello, Patrizia Montella, Daniele CorboGioacchino Tedeschi, Silvia Marino, Annalisa Baglieri, Simona De Salvo, Filippo Carducci, Carlo C. Quattrocchi, Milena Cobelli, Giovanni B. Frisoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The North American Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (NA-ADNI) was the first program to develop standardized procedures for Alzheimer's disease (AD) imaging biomarker collection. Objective: We describe the validation of acquisition and processing of structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in different Italian academic AD clinics following NA-ADNI procedures. Methods: 373 patients with subjective memory impairment (n = 12), mild cognitive impairment (n = 92), Alzheimer's dementia (n = 253), and frontotemporal dementia (n = 16) were enrolled in 9 Italian centers. 22 cognitively healthy elderly controls were also included. MRI site qualification and MP-RAGE quality assessment was applied following the NA-ADNI procedures. Indices of validity were: (i) NA-ADNI phantom's signal-to-noise and contrast-to-noise ratio, (ii) proportion of images passing quality control, (iii) comparability of automated intracranial volume (ICV) estimates across scanners, and (iv) known-group validity of manual hippocampal volumetry. Results: Results on Phantom and Volunteers scans showed that I-ADNI acquisition parameters were comparable with those one of the ranked-A ADNI scans. Eighty-seven percent of I-ADNI MPRAGE images were ranked of high quality in comparison of 69% of NA-ADNI. ICV showed homogeneous variances across scanners except for Siemens scanners at 3.0 Tesla (p = 0.039). A significant difference in hippocampal volume was found between AD and controls on 1.5 Tesla scans (p <0.001), confirming known group validity test. Conclusion: This study has provided standardization of MRI acquisition and imaging marker collection across different Italian clinical units and equipment. This is a mandatory step to the implementation of imaging biomarkers in clinical routine for early and differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-952
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • hippocampus
  • intracranial volume
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • standardized operating procedures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Medicine(all)


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