A meta-analysis of hippocampal atrophy rates in Alzheimer's disease

Josephine Barnes, Jonathan W. Bartlett, Laura A. van de Pol, Clement T. Loy, Rachael I. Scahill, Chris Frost, Paul Thompson, Nick C. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

274 Scopus citations


Hippocampal atrophy rates are useful in both diagnosing and tracking Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, cohorts and methods used to determine such rates are heterogeneous, leading to differences in reported annualised rates. We performed a meta-analysis of hippocampal atrophy rates in AD patients and matched controls from studies reported in the peer-reviewed literature. Studies reporting longitudinal volume change in hippocampi in AD subjects together with controls were systematically identified and appraised. All authors were contacted either to confirm the results or to provide missing data. Meta-analysis and meta-regression were then performed on this data. Nine studies were included from seven centres, with data from a total of 595 AD and 212 matched controls. Mean (95% CIs) annualised hippocampal atrophy rates were found to be 4.66% (95% CI 3.92, 5.40) for AD subjects and 1.41% (0.52, 2.30) for controls. The difference between AD and control subject in this rate was 3.33% (1.73, 4.94).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1711-1723
Number of pages13
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • AD
  • Alzheimer's
  • Atrophy
  • Hippocampus
  • Longitudinal
  • Meta-analysis
  • Rates


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