Assessing individual variability of the entorhinal subfields in health and disease

Jan Oltmer, Douglas N. Greve, Stefano Cerri, Natalya Slepneva, Josue Llamas-Rodríguez, Juan Eugenio Iglesias, Koen Van Leemput, Samantha N. Champion, Matthew P. Frosch, Jean C. Augustinack*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Investigating interindividual variability is a major field of interest in neuroscience. The entorhinal cortex (EC) is essential for memory and affected early in the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We combined histology ground-truth data with ultrahigh-resolution 7T ex vivo MRI to analyze EC interindividual variability in 3D. Further, we characterized (1) entorhinal shape as a whole, (2) entorhinal subfield range and midpoints, and (3) subfield architectural location and tau burden derived from 3D probability maps. Our results indicated that EC shape varied but was not related to demographic or disease factors at this preclinical stage. The medial intermediate subfield showed the highest degree of location variability in the probability maps. However, individual subfields did not display the same level of variability across dimensions and outcome measure, each providing a different perspective. For example, the olfactory subfield showed low variability in midpoint location in the superior–inferior dimension but high variability in anterior–posterior, and the subfield entorhinal intermediate showed a large variability in volumetric measures but a low variability in location derived from the 3D probability maps. These findings suggest that interindividual variability within the entorhinal subfields requires a 3D approach incorporating multiple outcome measures. This study provides 3D probability maps of the individual entorhinal subfields and respective tau pathology in the preclinical stage (Braak I and II) of AD. These probability maps illustrate the subfield average and may serve as a checkpoint for future modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2062-2079
Number of pages18
Issue number18
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • histology
  • MRI
  • phosphorylated tau
  • three-dimensional
  • validation


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