Purpose: Amyloid imaging with (18)F-labelled radiotracers will allow widespread use of this technique, facilitating research, diagnosis and therapeutic development for Alzheimer's disease (AD). The purpose of this analysis was to compare data on cortical Aβ deposition in subjects who had undergone both (11)C-PiB (PiB) and (18)F-florbetaben (FBB) PET imaging.
Methods: We identified ten healthy elderly controls (HC) and ten patients with AD who had undergone PET imaging after intravenous injection of 370 MBq of PiB and 300 MBq of FBB under separate research protocols. PiB and FBB images were coregistered so that placement of regions of interest was identical on both scans and standard uptake value ratios (SUVR) using the cerebellar cortex as reference region were calculated between 40 and 70 min and between 90 and 110 min after injection for PiB and FBB, respectively.
Results: Significantly higher SUVR values (p < 0.0001) in most cortical areas were observed in AD patients when compared with HC with both radiotracers. Global SUVR values in AD patients were on average 75% higher than in HC with PiB and 56% higher with FBB. There was an excellent linear correlation between PiB and FBB global SUVR values (r = 0.97, p < 0.0001) with similar effect sizes for distinguishing AD from HC subjects for both radiotracers (Cohen's d 3.3 for PiB and 3.0 for FBB).
Conclusion: FBB, while having a narrower dynamic range than PiB, clearly distinguished HC from AD patients, with a comparable effect size. FBB seems a suitable (18)F radiotracer for imaging AD pathology in vivo.