Assessment of beta-amyloid in a frontal cortical brain biopsy specimen and by positron emission tomography with carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B

Arch Neurol. 2008 Oct;65(10):1304-9. doi: 10.1001/archneur.65.10.noc80013. Epub 2008 Aug 11.


Objective: To compare carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([11C]PiB) positron emission tomography (PET) findings in patients with and without Alzheimer disease lesions in frontal cortical biopsy specimens.

Design: Cross-sectional study of [11C]PiB PET findings in patients with or without beta-amyloid (Abeta) aggregates in frontal cortical biopsy specimens.

Setting: Two university hospitals in Finland. Patients Ten patients who had undergone intraventricular pressure monitoring with a frontal cortical biopsy (evaluated for Abeta aggregates and hyperphosphorylated tau) for suspected normal-pressure hydrocephalus.

Interventions: [11C]PiB PET and evaluation for cognitive impairment using a battery of neuropsychological tests.

Main outcome measures: Immunohistochemical evaluation for Abeta aggregates and hyperphosphorylated tau in the frontal cortical biopsy specimen and [11C]PiB PET.

Results: In patients with Abeta aggregates in the frontal cortical biopsy specimen, PET imaging revealed higher [11C]PiB uptake (P < .05) in the frontal, parietal, and lateral temporal cortices and in the striatum as compared with the patients without frontal Abeta deposits.

Conclusions: Our study supports the use of noninvasive [11C]PiB PET in the assessment of Abeta deposition in the brain. Large prospective studies are required to verify whether [11C]PiB PET will be a diagnostic aid, particularly in early Alzheimer disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / analysis*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / metabolism
  • Aniline Compounds*
  • Biopsy
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disease Progression
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Frontal Lobe / diagnostic imaging*
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Frontal Lobe / pathology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / diagnosis
  • Hydrocephalus, Normal Pressure / physiopathology
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Intracranial Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Intracranial Hypertension / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / metabolism
  • Neurofibrillary Tangles / pathology
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Plaque, Amyloid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Plaque, Amyloid / metabolism
  • Plaque, Amyloid / pathology
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Thiazoles*
  • tau Proteins / analysis
  • tau Proteins / metabolism


  • 2-(4'-(methylamino)phenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Thiazoles
  • tau Proteins