Amyloid-β Imaging with Pittsburgh Compound B and Florbetapir: Comparing Radiotracers and Quantification Methods.
ABSTRACT (11)C-Pittsburgh compound B ((11)C-PiB) and (18)F-florbetapir amyloid-β (Aβ) PET radioligands have had a substantial impact on Alzheimer disease research. Although there is evidence that both radioligands bind to fibrillar Aβ in the brain, direct comparisons in the same individuals have not been reported. Here, we evaluated PiB and florbetapir in a retrospective convenience sample of cognitively normal older controls, patients with mild cognitive impairment, and patients with Alzheimer disease from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI). METHODS: From the ADNI database, 32 participants were identified who had undergone at least 1 PiB study and subsequently underwent a florbetapir study approximately 1.5 y after the last PiB study. Cortical PiB and florbetapir retention was quantified using several different methods to determine the effect of preprocessing factors (such as smoothing and reference region selection) and image processing pipelines. RESULTS: There was a strong association between PiB and florbetapir cortical retention ratios (Spearman ρ = 0.86-0.95), and these were slightly lower than cortical retention ratios for consecutive PiB scans (Spearman ρ = 0.96-0.98) made approximately 1.1 y apart. Cortical retention ratios for Aβ-positive subjects tended to be higher for PiB than for florbetapir images, yielding slopes for linear regression of florbetapir against PiB of 0.59-0.64. Associations between consecutive PiB scans and between PiB and florbetapir scans remained strong, regardless of processing methods such as smoothing, spatial normalization to a PET template, and use of reference regions. The PiB-florbetapir association was used to interconvert cutoffs for Aβ positivity and negativity between the 2 radioligands, and these cutoffs were highly consistent in their assignment of Aβ status. CONCLUSION: PiB and florbetapir retention ratios were strongly associated in the same individuals, and this relationship was consistent across several data analysis methods, despite scan-rescan intervals of more than a year. Cutoff thresholds for determining positive or negative Aβ status can be reliably transformed from PiB to florbetapir units or vice versa using a population scanned with both radioligands.
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ABSTRACT: Neuroinflammation is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease, but its role in cognitive impairment and its course of development during the disease are largely unknown. To address these unknowns, we used positron emission tomography with (11)C-PBR28 to measure translocator protein 18 kDa (TSPO), a putative biomarker for inflammation. Patients with Alzheimer's disease, patients with mild cognitive impairment and older control subjects were also scanned with (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B to measure amyloid burden. Twenty-nine amyloid-positive patients (19 Alzheimer's, 10 mild cognitive impairment) and 13 amyloid-negative control subjects were studied. The primary goal of this study was to determine whether TSPO binding is elevated in patients with Alzheimer's disease, and the secondary goal was to determine whether TSPO binding correlates with neuropsychological measures, grey matter volume, (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B binding, or age of onset. Patients with Alzheimer's disease, but not those with mild cognitive impairment, had greater (11)C-PBR28 binding in cortical brain regions than controls. The largest differences were seen in the parietal and temporal cortices, with no difference in subcortical regions or cerebellum. (11)C-PBR28 binding inversely correlated with performance on Folstein Mini-Mental State Examination, Clinical Dementia Rating Scale Sum of Boxes, Logical Memory Immediate (Wechsler Memory Scale Third Edition), Trail Making part B and Block Design (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Third Edition) tasks, with the largest correlations observed in the inferior parietal lobule. (11)C-PBR28 binding also inversely correlated with grey matter volume. Early-onset (<65 years) patients had greater (11)C-PBR28 binding than late-onset patients, and in parietal cortex and striatum (11)C-PBR28 binding correlated with lower age of onset. Partial volume corrected and uncorrected results were generally in agreement; however, the correlation between (11)C-PBR28 and (11)C-Pittsburgh Compound B binding was seen only after partial volume correction. The results suggest that neuroinflammation, indicated by increased (11)C-PBR28 binding to TSPO, occurs after conversion of mild cognitive impairment to Alzheimer's disease and worsens with disease progression. Greater inflammation may contribute to the precipitous disease course typically seen in early-onset patients. (11)C-PBR28 may be useful in longitudinal studies to mark the conversion from mild cognitive impairment or to assess response to experimental treatments of Alzheimer's disease.Brain 06/2013; DOI:10.1093/brain/awt145 · 10.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Rapid clearance and disappearance of a tracer from the circulation challenges the determination of the tracer's binding potentials in brain (BP ND) by positron emission tomography (PET). This is the case for the analysis of the binding of radiolabeled [(11)C]Pittsburgh Compound B ([(11)C]PIB) to amyloid-β (Aβ) plaques in brain of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To resolve the issue of rapid clearance from the circulation, we here introduce the flow-independent Washout Allometric Reference Method (WARM) for the analysis of washout and binding of [(11)C]PIB in two groups of human subjects, healthy aged control subjects (HC), and patients suffering from AD, and we compare the results to the outcome of two conventional analysis methods. We also use the rapid initial clearance to obtain a surrogate measure of the rate of cerebral blood flow (CBF), as well as a method of identifying a suitable reference region directly from the [(11)C]PIB signal. The difference of average absolute CBF values between the AD and HC groups was highly significant (P < 0.003). The CBF measures were not significantly different between the groups when normalized to cerebellar gray matter flow. Thus, when flow differences confound conventional measures of [(11)C]PIB binding, the separate estimates of CBF and BP ND provide additional information about possible AD. The results demonstrate the importance of data-driven estimation of CBF and BP ND, as well as reference region detection from the [(11)C]PIB signal. We conclude that the WARM method yields stable measures of BP ND with relative ease, using only integration for noise reduction and no model regression. The method accounts for relative flow differences in the brain tissue and yields a calibrated measure of absolute CBF directly from the [(11)C]PIB signal. Compared to conventional methods, WARM optimizes the Aβ plaque load discrimination between patients with AD and healthy controls (P = 0.009).Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 01/2013; 5:45. DOI:10.3389/fnagi.2013.00045 · 2.84 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The medial temporal lobe is implicated as a key brain region involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and consequent memory loss. Tau tangle aggregation in this region may develop concurrently with cortical Aβ deposition in preclinical AD, but the pathological relationship between tau and Aβ remains unclear. We used task-free fMRI with a focus on the medical temporal lobe, together with Aβ PET imaging, in cognitively normal elderly human participants. We found that cortical Aβ load was related to disrupted intrinsic functional connectivity of the perirhinal cortex, which is typically the first brain region affected by tauopathies in AD. There was no concurrent association of cortical Aβ load with cognitive performance or brain atrophy. These findings suggest that dysfunction in the medial temporal lobe may represent a very early sign of preclinical AD and may predict future memory loss. Copyright © 2015 the authors 0270-6474/15/353240-08$15.00/0.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 02/2015; 35(7):3240-7. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2092-14.2015 · 6.75 Impact Factor