Increased basal ganglia binding of 18 F-AV-1451 in patients with progressive supranuclear palsy

Mov Disord. 2017 Jan;32(1):108-114. doi: 10.1002/mds.26813. Epub 2016 Oct 6.


Background: Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is difficult to diagnose accurately. The recently developed tau PET tracers may improve the diagnostic work-up of PSP.

Methods: Regional tau accumulation was studied using 18 F-AV-1451 PET in 11 patients with PSP and 11 age-matched healthy controls in the Swedish BioFinder study.

Results: 18 F-AV-1451 standard uptake volume ratios were significantly higher in the basal ganglia in PSP patients when compared with controls (globus pallidus 1.75 vs 1.50; putamen 1.51 vs 1.35). Retention in the basal ganglia was correlated with age in both groups (r = .43-.78, P < .05). In PSP, we observed a significant correlation between clinical deterioration measured with the PSP rating scale and standard uptake volume ratios in the globus pallidus (r = .74, P < .05). However, no 18 F-AV-1451 retention was observed in the cerebral cortex or white matter of either PSP patients or controls, and autoradiography did not reveal any specific binding of AV-1451 to PSP tau aggregates.

Conclusion: We found higher 18 F-AV-1451 retention in the basal ganglia of PSP patients when compared with healthy elderly controls, but also increases with age in both controls and patients. As a result of the overlap in retention between diagnostic groups and the age-dependent increase present also in controls, 18 F-AV-1451 PET might not reliably distinguish individual patients with PSP from controls. However, further studies are needed to evaluate whether 18 F-AV-1451 PET might be useful as a progression marker in clinical PSP trials. © The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Keywords: Progressive supranuclear palsy; basal ganglia; positron emission tomography; tau.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Basal Ganglia / diagnostic imaging
  • Basal Ganglia / metabolism*
  • Carbolines*
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / diagnostic imaging
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / metabolism*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / physiopathology*
  • Sweden
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • Carbolines
  • tau Proteins
  • 7-(6-fluoropyridin-3-yl)-5H-pyrido(4,3-b)indole