Clinical, Imaging, and Pathologic Characteristics of Patients With Right vs Left Hemisphere-Predominant Logopenic Progressive Aphasia

Objective

To assess and compare demographic, clinical, neuroimaging, and pathologic characteristics of a cohort of patients with right hemisphere–predominant vs left hemisphere–predominant logopenic progressive aphasia (LPA).

Methods

This is a case-control study of patients with LPA who were prospectively followed at Mayo Clinic and underwent [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET scan. Patients were classified as rLPA if right temporal lobe metabolism was ≥1 SD lower than left temporal lobe metabolism. Patients with rLPA were frequency-matched 3:1 to typical left-predominant LPA based on degree of asymmetry and severity of temporal lobe metabolism. Patients were compared on clinical, imaging (MRI, FDG-PET, β-amyloid, and tau-PET), and pathologic characteristics.

Results

Of 103 prospectively recruited patients with LPA, 8 (4 female) were classified as rLPA (7.8%); all patients with rLPA were right-handed. Patients with rLPA had milder aphasia based on the Western Aphasia Battery–Aphasia Quotient (p = 0.04) and less frequent phonologic errors (p = 0.015). Patients with rLPA had shorter survival compared to typical LPA: hazard ratio 4.0 (1.2–12.9), p = 0.02. There were no other differences in demographics, handedness, genetics, or neurologic or neuropsychological tests. Compared to the 24 frequency-matched patients with typical LPA, patients with rLPA showed greater frontotemporal hypometabolism of the nondominant hemisphere on FDG-PET and less atrophy in amygdala and hippocampus of the dominant hemisphere. Autopsy evaluation revealed a similar distribution of pathologic findings in both groups, with Alzheimer disease pathologic changes being the most frequent pathology.

Conclusions

rLPA is associated with less severe aphasia but has shorter survival from reported symptom onset than typical LPA, possibly related to greater involvement of the nondominant hemisphere.

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