Positron emission tomography (PET) utilizing Pittsburgh compound B (PIB) for detection of amyloid heart deposits in hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR)

J Nucl Cardiol. 2018 Feb;25(1):240-248. doi: 10.1007/s12350-016-0638-5. Epub 2016 Sep 19.


Background: DPD scintigraphy has been advocated for imaging cardiac amyloid in ATTR amyloidosis. PET utilizing 11C-Pittsburgh compound B (PIB) is the gold standard for imaging brain amyloid in Alzheimer's disease. PIB was recently shown to identify cardiac amyloidosis in both AL and ATTR amyloidosis. In the ATTR population, two types of amyloid fibrils exist, one containing fragmented and full-length TTR (type A) and the other only full-length TTR (type B). The aim of this study was to further evaluate PIB-PET in patients with hereditary ATTR amyloidosis.

Methods: Ten patients with biopsy-proven V30M ATTR amyloidosis and discrete or no signs of cardiac involvement were included. Patients were grouped according to TTR-fragmentation. All underwent DPD scintigraphy, echocardiography, and PIB-PET. A left ventricular PIB-retention index (PIB-RI) was established and compared to five normal volunteers.

Results: PIB-RI was increased in all patients (P < 0.001), but was significantly higher in type B than in type A (0.129 ± 0.041 vs 0.040 ± 0.006 min-1, P = 0.009). Cardiac DPD uptake was elevated in group A and absent in group B.

Conclusion: PIB-PET, in contrast to DPD scintigraphy, has the potential to specifically identify cardiac amyloid depositions irrespective of amyloid fibril composition. The heart appears to be a target organ for amyloid deposition in ATTR amyloidosis.

Keywords: Cardiomyopathy; Pittsburgh compound B; amyloidosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Amyloid / analysis*
  • Amyloid Neuropathies, Familial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Aniline Compounds*
  • Biopsy
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Positron Emission Tomography Computed Tomography
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radionuclide Imaging*
  • Thiazoles*


  • 2-(4'-(methylamino)phenyl)-6-hydroxybenzothiazole
  • Amyloid
  • Aniline Compounds
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Carbon-11
  • Thiazoles

Supplementary concepts

  • Amyloidosis, Hereditary, Transthyretin-Related