Objective: The objectives of the present study were to investigate (1) whether trinary visual interpretation of amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) imaging (negative/equivocal/positive) reflects quantitative amyloid measurements and the time course of 11C-Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) amyloid accumulation, and (2) whether visually equivocal scans represent an early stage of the Alzheimer’s disease (AD) continuum in terms of an intermediate state of quantitative amyloid measurements and the changes in amyloid accumulation over time. Methods: From the National Bioscience Database Center Human Database of the Japanese Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative, we selected 133 individuals for this study including 33 with Alzheimer’s disease dementia (ADD), 52 with late mild cognitive impairment (LMCI), and 48 cognitively normal (CN) subjects who underwent clinical assessment, PiB PET, and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with 2 or 3-years of follow-up. Sixty-eight of the 133 individuals underwent cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β1-42 (CSF-Ab42) analysis at baseline. The standard uptake value ratio (SUVR) of PiB PET was calculated with a method using MRI at each visit. The cross-sectional values, longitudinal changes in SUVR, and baseline CSF-Ab42 were compared among groups, which were categorized based on trinary visual reads of amyloid PET (negative/equivocal/positive). Results: From the trinary visual interpretation of the PiB PET images, 55 subjects were negative, 8 were equivocal, and 70 were positive. Negative interpretation was most frequent in the CN group (70.8/10.4/18.8%: negative/equivocal/positive), and positive was most frequent in the LMCI group (34.6/1.9/63.5%) and in the ADD group (9.1/6.1/84.8%). The baseline SUVRs were 1.08 ± 0.06 in the negative group, 1.23 ± 0.15 in the equivocal group, and 1.86 ± 0.31 in the positive group (F = 174.9, p < 0.001). The baseline CSF-Ab42 level was 463 ± 112 pg/mL in the negative group, 383 ± 125 pg/mL in the equivocal group, and 264 ± 69 pg/mL in the positive group (F = 37, p < 0.001). Over the 3-year follow-up, annual changes in SUVR were − 0.00 ± 0.02 in the negative group, 0.02 ± 0.02 in the equivocal group, and 0.04 ± 0.07 in the positive group (F = 8.4, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Trinary visual interpretation (negative/equivocal/positive) of amyloid PET imaging reflects quantitative amyloid measurements evaluated with PET and the CSF amyloid test as well as the amyloid accumulation over time evaluated with PET over 3 years. Subjects in the early stage of the AD continuum could be identified with an equivocal scan, because they showed intermediate quantitative amyloid PET, CSF measurements, and the amyloid accumulation over time.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging