INTRODUCTION: The term primary progressive aphasia (PPA) sums up the non-fluent (nfv), the semantic (sv), and the logopenic (lv) variant. Up to now, there is only limited data available concerning magnetic resonance imaging volumetry to monitor disease progression.
METHODS: Structural brain imaging and an extensive assessment were applied at baseline and up to 4-year(s) follow-up in 269 participants. With automated atlas-based volumetry 56 brain regions were assessed. Atrophy progression served to calculate sample sizes for therapeutic trials.
RESULTS: At baseline highest atrophy appeared in parts of the left frontal lobe for nfvPPA (-17%) and of the left temporal lobe for svPPA (-34%) and lvPPA (-24%). Severest progression within 1-year follow-up occurred in the basal ganglia in nfvPPA (-7%), in the hippocampus/amygdala in svPPA (-9%), and in (medial) temporal regions in lvPPA (-6%).
CONCLUSION: PPA presents as a left-dominant, mostly gray matter sensitive disease with considerable atrophy at baseline that proceeds variant-specific.