MRI-defined vascular depression: a review of the construct.


Journal Article (Review)

OBJECTIVE: To review the construct of MRI-defined vascular depression and to examine the substantive and methodological issues that bear on its validity as a distinct subtype of depression in late life. DESIGN: Literature review. RESULTS: We identified three areas that are critical to establishing the validity of MRI-defined vascular depression: (1) understanding and delineating the relationship between MRI hyperintensities, executive dysfunction, and antidepressant treatment outcome; (2) understanding the relationship between, and establishing the validity of, qualitative and quantitative approaches to the measurement of MRI hyperintensities (the primary feature of the proposed subtype); (3) establishing the clinical presentation and course of the subtype in the context of other late-life disorders. CONCLUSIONS: Despite considerable data supporting the validity of MRI-defined vascular depression, there are a number of critical issues that remain, including establishing a causal relationship between cerebrovascular disease and late-life depression, establishing consistent diagnostic criteria, determining the importance of lesion type and location, and understanding the course of the disorder.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Culang-Reinlieb, ME; Johnert, LC; Brickman, AM; Steffens, DC; Garcon, E; Sneed, JR

Published Date

  • November 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 1101 - 1108

PubMed ID

  • 21192018

Pubmed Central ID

  • 21192018

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1099-1166

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/gps.2668


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England