Using positron emission tomography and Carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B to image Brain Fibrillar β-amyloid in adults with down syndrome: safety, acceptability, and feasibility

Arch Neurol. 2011 Jul;68(7):890-6. doi: 10.1001/archneurol.2011.36. Epub 2011 Mar 14.


Objective: To investigate the safety, acceptability, and feasibility of positron emission tomography (PET) using carbon 11-labeled Pittsburgh Compound B ([(11)C]PiB) to measure cerebral β-amyloid in adults with Down syndrome (DS) and to explore if the technique differentiates between participants with and without Alzheimer disease (AD).

Design: Proof-of-principle case-controlled study of a nonrandomly selected cohort of participants with DS (with or without AD) compared within group and with healthy controls without DS. All had dynamic [(11)C]PiB PET and magnetic resonance imaging. Carbon 11-labeled PiB binding in the regions of interest associated with AD was quantitatively analyzed.

Setting: Wolfson Brain Imaging Centre, Cambridge, England.

Participants: Nine with DS (aged 25-64 years), of whom 5 had a diagnosis of AD, and 14 healthy controls without DS (aged 33-69 years).

Main outcome measure: Positive [(11)C]PiB binding in regions of interest.

Results: The scanning process was feasible and acceptable with no adverse events or safety concerns. Maps and regional values of nondisplaceable binding potential were produced using the reference tissue-input Logan plot, with the cerebellum used as the reference tissue. When compared with the healthy control group without DS, only participants with DS older than 45 years had significant [(11)C]PiB binding in regions of interest usually associated with AD, whether or not they had clinical evidence of dementia.

Conclusions: Dynamic [(11)C]PiB PET can be used successfully to measure cerebral β-amyloid deposition in DS. A clinical diagnosis of AD and age appear to be predictors of [(11)C]PiB binding in regions of interest, but given the small numbers, we cannot generalize the results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Benzothiazoles*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Down Syndrome* / diagnostic imaging
  • Down Syndrome* / metabolism
  • Down Syndrome* / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Thiazoles
  • Young Adult


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