Background: The ratio of β-amyloid 1-42 (Aβ42) to Aβ40 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be useful for evaluating Alzheimer disease (AD), but quantification is limited by factors including preanalytical analyte loss. We developed an LC-MS/MS assay that limits analyte loss. Here we describe the analytical characteristics of the assay and its performance in differentiating patients with AD from non-AD dementia and healthy controls.
Methods: To measure Aβ42/Aβ40, we used unique proteolytically derived C-terminal peptides as surrogate markers of Aβ40 and Aβ42, which were analyzed and quantified by LC-MS/MS. The assay was analytically validated and applied to specimens from individuals with clinically diagnosed AD (n = 102), mild cognitive impairment (n = 37), and non-AD dementias (n = 22), as well as from healthy controls (n = 130). Aβ42/Aβ40 values were compared with APOE genotype inferred from phenotype, also measured by LC-MS/MS.
Results: The assay had a reportable range of 100 to 25000 pg/mL, a limit of quantification of 100 pg/mL, recoveries between 93% and 111%, and intraassay and interassay CV <15% for both peptides. An Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio cutoff of <0.16 had a clinical sensitivity of 78% for distinguishing patients with AD from non-AD dementia (clinical specificity, 91%) and from healthy controls (clinical specificity, 81%). The Aβ42/Aβ40 ratio decreased significantly (P < 0.001) with increasing dose of APOE4 alleles.
Conclusions: This assay can be used to determine Aβ42/Aβ40 ratios, which correlate with the presence of AD.
© 2019 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.