Kinetics and 28-day test-retest repeatability and reproducibility of [11C]UCB-J PET brain imaging

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2021 Jun;41(6):1338-1350. doi: 10.1177/0271678X20964248. Epub 2020 Oct 8.


[11C]UCB-J is a novel radioligand that binds to synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A). The main objective of this study was to determine the 28-day test-retest repeatability (TRT) of quantitative [11C]UCB-J brain positron emission tomography (PET) imaging in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and healthy controls (HCs). Nine HCs and eight AD patients underwent two 60 min dynamic [11C]UCB-J PET scans with arterial sampling with an interval of 28 days. The optimal tracer kinetic model was assessed using the Akaike criteria (AIC). Micro-/macro-parameters such as tracer delivery (K1) and volume of distribution (VT) were estimated using the optimal model. Data were also analysed for simplified reference tissue model (SRTM) with centrum semi-ovale (white matter) as reference region. Based on AIC, both 1T2k_VB and 2T4k_VB described the [11C]UCB-J kinetics equally well. Analysis showed that whole-brain grey matter TRT for VT, DVR and SRTM BPND were -2.2% ± 8.5, 0.4% ± 12.0 and -8.0% ± 10.2, averaged over all subjects. [11C]UCB-J kinetics can be well described by a 1T2k_VB model, and a 60 min scan duration was sufficient to obtain reliable estimates for both plasma input and reference tissue models. TRT for VT, DVR and BPND was <15% (1SD) averaged over all subjects and indicates adequate quantitative repeatability of [11C]UCB-J PET.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; PET; SV2A; [11C]UCB-J; kinetic modelling.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnostic imaging*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Kinetics
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods
  • Pyridines / pharmacokinetics*
  • Pyrrolidinones / pharmacokinetics*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / pharmacokinetics*
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • 1-((3-(methylpyridin-4-yl)methyl)-4-(3,4,5-trifluorophenyl)pyrrolidin-2-one
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Pyridines
  • Pyrrolidinones
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • SV2A protein, human