Background: 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) and 18F-florbetapir PET are approved neuroimaging biomarkers for the Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
Objectives: This study aims to compare the efficacy of 18F-FDG and 18F-florbetapir PET at evaluating the cognitive performance of patients with AD, MCI, and normal controls (NC).
Methods: 63 subjects (36 male/27 female, mean age = 68.3) including 19 AD, 23 MCI, and 21 NC underwent 18F-FDG and 18F-florbetapir PET imaging. A global quantification approach was applied on supra-tentorial, frontal, parieto-occipital, temporal, and cerebellar brain regions by calculating the global SUVmean ratios (GSUVr) as the weighted average of all regional SUVmean. 18F-FDG and 18F-florbetapir GSUVr of each region were subsequently correlated with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE).
Results: Subjects were studied in five categories as NC, MCI patients, AD patients, MCI and AD patients grouped together (MCI/AD), and a group including all the subjects (NC/MCI/AD). Both 18F-FDG and 18F-florbetapir could successfully detect subjects with dementia (p < 0.001). Studied in all regions and groups, the correlation analysis of 18F-FDG GSUVr with MMSE scores was significant in more regions and groups compared to that of 18F-florbetapir. We also demonstrated that the correlation of 18F-FDG GSUVr with MMSE is stronger than that of 18F-florbetapir in the supra-tentorial and temporal regions.
Conclusions: This study reveals how 18F-FDG-PET global quantification is a superior indicator of cognitive performance in AD and MCI patients compared to 18F-florbetapir PET. Accordingly, we still recommend 18F-FDG-PET over amyloid imaging in the evaluation for AD and MCI.
Keywords: 18F-FDG; Alzheimer’s disease; Mini-Mental State Examination; amyloid-β protein; florbetapir; mild cognitive impairment; positron emission tomography.