Regional analysis of FDG and PIB-PET images in normal aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2008 Dec;35(12):2169-81. doi: 10.1007/s00259-008-0833-y. Epub 2008 Jun 20.


Objective: The objective of the study is to compare the diagnostic value of regional sampling of the cerebral metabolic rate of glucose metabolism (MRglc) using [18F]-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose ([18F]FDG)-positron emission tomography (PET) and amyloid-beta pathology using Pittsburgh Compound-B ([11C]PIB)-PET in the evaluation of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) compared to normal elderly (NL).

Materials and methods: AD patients, 7 NL, 13 MCI, and 17, received clinical, neuropsychological, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), FDG, and PIB-PET exams. Parametric images of PIB uptake and MRglc were sampled using automated regions-of-interest (ROI).

Results: AD showed global MRglc reductions, and MCI showed reduced hippocampus (HIP) and inferior parietal lobe (IP) MRglc compared to NL. On PIB, AD patients showed significantly increased uptake in the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and IP (ps < 0.05). PIB uptake in MCI subjects was either AD or NL-like. HIP MRglc and MFG PIB uptake were the best discriminators of NL from MCI and NL from AD. These two best measures showed high diagnostic agreement for AD (94%) and poor agreement for MCI (54%). For the NL vs. MCI discrimination, combining the two best measures increased the accuracy for PIB (75%) and for FDG (85%) to 90%.

Conclusion: For AD, the pattern of regional involvement for FDG and PIB differ, but both techniques show high diagnostic accuracy and 94% case by case agreement. In the classification of NL and MCI, FDG is superior to PIB, but there is only 54% agreement at a case level. Combining the two modalities improves the diagnostic accuracy for MCI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzothiazoles* / metabolism
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cognition Disorders / metabolism
  • Cognition Disorders / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Thiazoles


  • 2-(4'-(methylamino)phenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzothiazoles
  • Thiazoles
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18