Dynamic Amyloid PET: Relationships to 18F-Flortaucipir Tau PET Measures

Fabio Raman, Yu Hua Dean Fang, Sameera Grandhi, Charles F. Murchison, Richard E. Kennedy, John C. Morris, Parinaz Massoumzadeh, Tammie Benzinger, Erik D. Roberson, Jonathan McConathy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Measuring amyloid and predicting tau status using a single amyloid PET study would be valuable for assessing brain AD pathophysiology. We hypothesized that early-frame amyloid PET (efAP) correlates with the presence of tau pathology because the initial regional brain concentrations of radioactivity are determined primarily by blood flow, which is expected to be decreased in the setting of tau pathology. Methods: The study included 120 participants (63 amyloid-positive and 57 amyloid-negative) with dynamic 18F-florbetapir PET and static 18F-flortaucipir PET scans obtained within 6 mo of each other. These subjects were predominantly cognitively intact in both the amyloid-positive (63%) and the amyloid-negative (93%) groups. Parameters for efAP quantification were optimized for stratification of tau PET positivity, assessed by either a tauopathy score or Braak regions. The ability of efAP to stratify tau positivity was measured using receiver-operating-characteristic analysis of area under the curve (AUC). Pearson r and Spearman r were used for parametric and nonparametric comparisons between efAP and tau PET, respectively. Standardized net benefit was used to evaluate improvement in using efAP as an additional copredictor over hippocampal volume in predicting tau PET positivity. Results: Measuring efAP within the hippocampus and summing the first 3 min of brain activity after injection showed the strongest discriminative ability to stratify for tau positivity (AUC, 0.67-0.89 across tau PET Braak regions) in amyloid-positive individuals. Hippocampal efAP correlated significantly with a global tau PET tauopathy score in amyloid-positive participants (r 5 20.57, P, 0.0001). Compared with hippocampal volume, hippocampal efAP showed a stronger association with tau PET Braak stage (r 5 20.58 vs. 20.37) and superior stratification of tau PET tauopathy score (AUC, 0.86 vs. 0.66; P 5 0.002). Conclusion: Hippocampal efAP can provide additional information to conventional amyloid PET, including estimation of the likelihood of tau positivity in amyloid-positive individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


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