Cerebrospinal Fluid Alzheimer's Disease Biomarkers in Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy-Related Inflammation

J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(3):759-764. doi: 10.3233/JAD-150621.


Background: Decreased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid-β 1-40 (Aβ40) and amyloid-β 1-42 (Aβ42) and increased total and phosphorylated tau (t-tau, p-tau) concentrations have been described in cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA).

Objective: Our aim was to analyze these biomarkers in patients with CAA-related inflammation (CAA-I).

Methods: We prospectively recruited nine patients with acute phase CAA-I fulfilling Chung criteria. CSF was analyzed for t-tau, p-tau, Aβ42, and Aβ40. Data were compared to controls (n = 14), patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD, n = 42), CAA (n = 10), and primary angiitis of the central nervous system (PACNS, n = 3).

Results: For the CAA-I group, statistically significant differences were: lower Aβ42 (p = 0.00053) compared to the control group; lower t-tau (p = 0.018), p-tau (p < 0.001), and Aβ40 (p < 0.001) compared to AD; lower Aβ42 (p = 0.027) compared to CAA; lower Aβ42 (p = 0.012) compared to PACNS. Nearly significantly lower Aβ40 (p = 0.051) and higher t-tau (p = 0.051) were seen in CAA-I compared to controls.

Conclusion: CSF biomarkers profile similar to that of CAA was observed in CAA-I (with even lower levels of Aβ42 compared to CAA). Based on our findings, high p-tau seems more specific for AD, whereas low Aβ42 differentiates CAA-I from CAA, PACNS, and controls, and low Aβ40 differentiates CAA-I from AD.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β; cerebral amyloid angiopathy; cerebrospinal fluid; inflammation; tau.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Inflammation / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • tau Proteins / cerebrospinal fluid


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Biomarkers
  • tau Proteins