Background: The criteria for behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) incorporate MRI and [18F]-FDG-PET. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is merely advised for excluding Alzheimer's disease.
Aims: We aimed to assess the impact of biomarkers on diagnostic certainty and contingent changes of bvFTD diagnosis within the clinically relevant neuropsychiatric differential diagnosis of subjects with a late-onset frontal lobe syndrome (LOF).
Methods: We included 137 patients with LOF, aged 45-75 years, 72% males. Biomarker disclosure was considered contributing after any substantial difference in diagnostic certainty or a diagnostic change. Percentages of contributing biomarkers were compared between three major diagnostic groups (bvFTD, psychiatry, other neurological disorders). Certainty levels in stable diagnostic groups were compared to those with a diagnostic change.
Results: Biomarkers contributed in 53, 60 and 41% of the LOF patients for MRI, [18F]-FDG-PET and CSF, respectively. Biomarkers changed the diagnosis in 14% of cases towards bvFTD and in 13% from bvFTD into an alternative. Those that changed had a lower level of a priori diagnostic certainty compared to stable diagnoses.
Conclusion: Our study not only supports the widely accepted use of MRI and [18F]-FDG-PET in diagnosing or excluding bvFTD, but also shows that CSF biomarkers aid clinicians in the diagnostic process.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.