Imaging-pathological correlation studies show that in vivo amyloid-β (Aβ) positron emission tomography (PET) strongly predicts the presence of significant Aβ pathology at autopsy. We sought to determine whether regional PiB-PET uptake would improve sensitivity for amyloid detection in comparison with global measures (experiment 1), and to estimate the relative contributions of different Aβ aggregates to in vivo PET signal (experiment 2). In experiment 1, 54 subjects with [11C] PiB-PET during life and postmortem neuropathologic examination (85.2% with dementia, interval from PET to autopsy 3.1 ± 1.9 years) were included. We assessed Thal amyloid phase (N = 36) and CERAD score (N = 54) versus both global and regional PiB SUVRs. In experiment 2 (N = 42), PiB SUVR and post-mortem amyloid β burden was analyzed in five customized regions of interest matching regions sampled at autopsy. We assessed the relative contribution of neuritic plaques (NPs), diffuse plaques (DPs) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) to regional PIB SUVR using multi-linear regression. In experiment 1, there were no differences in Area Under the Curve for amyloid phase ≥ A2 and CERAD score ≥ C2 between global and highest regional PiB SUVR (p = 0.186 and 0.230). In experiment 2, when NPs, DPs, and/or CAA were included in the same model, moderate to severe NPs were independently correlated with PiB SUVR in all regions except for the inferior temporal and calcarine ROI (β = 0.414-0.804, p < 0.05), whereas DPs were independently correlated with PiB SUVR in the angular gyrus ROI (β = 0.446, p = 0.010). CAA was also associated with PiB SUVR in the inferior temporal and calcarine ROI (β = 0.222-0.355, p < 0.05). In conclusion, global PiB-PET SUVR performed as well as regional values for amyloid detection in our cohort. The substrate-specific binding of PiB might differ among the brain specific regions.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid; Imaging; Pathology.