Assessment of a Plasma Amyloid Probability Score to Estimate Amyloid Positron Emission Tomography Findings among Adults with Cognitive Impairment

Yan Hu, Kristopher M. Kirmess, Matthew R. Meyer, Gil D. Rabinovici, Constantine Gatsonis, Barry A. Siegel, Rachel A. Whitmer, Charles Apgar, Lucy Hanna, Michio Kanekiyo, June Kaplow, Akihiko Koyama, David Verbel, Mary S. Holubasch, Stephanie S. Knapik, Jason Connor, John H. Contois, Erin N. Jackson, Scott E. Harpstrite, Randall J. BatemanDavid M. Holtzman, Philip B. Verghese, Ilana Fogelman, Joel B. Braunstein, Kevin E. Yarasheski, Tim West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Importance: The diagnostic evaluation for Alzheimer disease may be improved by a blood-based diagnostic test identifying presence of brain amyloid plaque pathology. Objective: To determine the clinical performance associated with a diagnostic algorithm incorporating plasma amyloid-β (Aβ) 42:40 ratio, patient age, and apoE proteotype to identify brain amyloid status. Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study includes analysis from 2 independent cross-sectional cohort studies: the discovery cohort of the Plasma Test for Amyloidosis Risk Screening (PARIS) study, a prospective add-on to the Imaging Dementia-Evidence for Amyloid Scanning study, including 249 patients from 2018 to 2019, and MissionAD, a dataset of 437 biobanked patient samples obtained at screenings during 2016 to 2019. Data were analyzed from May to November 2020. Exposures: Amyloid detected in blood and by positron emission tomography (PET) imaging. Main Outcomes and Measures: The main outcome was the diagnostic performance of plasma Aβ42:40 ratio, together with apoE proteotype and age, for identifying amyloid PET status, assessed by accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC). Results: All 686 participants (mean [SD] age 73.2 [6.3] years; 368 [53.6%] men; 378 participants [55.1%] with amyloid PET findings) had symptoms of mild cognitive impairment or mild dementia. The AUC of plasma Aβ42:40 ratio for PARIS was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.73-0.85) and 0.86 (95% CI, 0.82-0.89) for MissionAD. Ratio cutoffs for Aβ42:40 based on the Youden index were similar between cohorts (PARIS: 0.089; MissionAD: 0.092). A logistic regression model (LRM) incorporating Aβ42:40 ratio, apoE proteotype, and age improved diagnostic performance within each cohort (PARIS: AUC, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.81-0.91]; MissionAD: AUC, 0.89 [95% CI, 0.86-0.92]), and overall accuracy was 78% (95% CI, 72%-83%) for PARIS and 83% (95% CI, 79%-86%) for MissionAD. The model developed on the prospectively collected samples from PARIS performed well on the MissionAD samples (AUC, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.84-0.91]; accuracy, 78% [95% CI, 74%-82%]). Training the LRM on combined cohorts yielded an AUC of 0.88 (95% CI, 0.85-0.91) and accuracy of 81% (95% CI, 78%-84%). The output of this LRM is the Amyloid Probability Score (APS). For clinical use, 2 APS cutoff values were established yielding 3 categories, with low, intermediate, and high likelihood of brain amyloid plaque pathology. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that this blood biomarker test could allow for distinguishing individuals with brain amyloid-positive PET findings from individuals with amyloid-negative PET findings and serve as an aid for Alzheimer disease diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E228392
JournalJAMA Network Open
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


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