Quantitative Amyloid Imaging in Autosomal Dominant Alzheimer’s Disease: Results from the DIAN Study Group

Su, Yi; Blazey, Tyler M.; Owen, Christopher J.; Christensen, Jon J.; Friedrichsen, Karl; Joseph-Mathurin, Nelly; Wang, Qing; Hornbeck, Russ C.; Ances, Beau M.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Cash, Lisa A.; Koeppe, Robert A.; Klunk, William E.; Galasko, Douglas; Brickman, Adam M.; McDade, Eric; Ringman, John M.; Thompson, Paul M.; Saykin, Andrew J.; Ghetti, Bernardino; Sperling, Reisa A.; Johnson, Keith A.; Salloway, Stephen P.; Schofield, Peter R.; Masters, Colin L.; Villemagne, Victor L.; Fox, Nick C.; Förster, Stefan; Chen, Kewei; Reiman, Eric M.; Xiong, Chengjie; Marcus, Daniel S.; Weiner, Michael W.; Morris, John C.; Bateman, Randall J.; Benzinger, Tammie L. S.

Amyloid imaging plays an important role in the research and diagnosis of dementing disorders. Substantial variation in quantitative methods to measure brain amyloid burden exists in the field. The aim of this work is to investigate the impact of methodological variations to the quantification of amyloid burden using data from the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network (DIAN), an autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease population. Cross-sectional and longitudinal [11C]-Pittsburgh Compound B (PiB) PET imaging data from the DIAN study were analyzed. Four candidate reference regions were investigated for estimation of brain amyloid burden. A regional spread function based technique was also investigated for the correction of partial volume effects. Cerebellar cortex, brain-stem, and white matter regions all had stable tracer retention during the course of disease. Partial volume correction consistently improves sensitivity to group differences and longitudinal changes over time. White matter referencing improved statistical power in the detecting longitudinal changes in relative tracer retention; however, the reason for this improvement is unclear and requires further investigation. Full dynamic acquisition and kinetic modeling improved statistical power although it may add cost and time. Several technical variations to amyloid burden quantification were examined in this study. Partial volume correction emerged as the strategy that most consistently improved statistical power for the detection of both longitudinal changes and across-group differences. For the autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease population with PiB imaging, utilizing brainstem as a reference region with partial volume correction may be optimal for current interventional trials. Further investigation of technical issues in quantitative amyloid imaging in different study populations using different amyloid imaging tracers is warranted.


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May 1, 2016