Combination of Biomarkers: PET [18F]Flutemetamol Imaging and Structural MRI in Dementia and Mild Cognitive Impairment

Lennart Thurfjell, Jyrki Lötjönen, Roger Lundqvist, Juha Koikkalainen, Hilkka Soininen, Gunhild Waldemar, David J. Brooks, Rik Vanderberghe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The New National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) incorporate biomarkers in the diagnostic criteria and suggest division of biomarkers into two categories: Aβ accumulation and neuronal degeneration or injury. Objective: It was the aim of this study to compute hippocampus volume from MRI and a neocortical standard uptake value ratio (SUVR) from [18F]flutemetamol PET and investigate the performance of these biomarkers when used individually and when combined. Methods: Fully automated methods for hippocampus segmentation and for computation of neocortical SUVR were applied to MR and scans with the investigational imaging agent [18F]flutemetamol in a cohort comprising 27 AD patients, 25 healthy volunteers (HVs) and 20 subjects with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Clinical follow-up was performed 2 years after the initial assessment. Results: Hippocampus volumes showed extensive overlap between AD and HV cases while PET SUVRs showed clear group clustering. When both measures were combined, there was a relatively compact cluster of HV scans and a less compact AD cluster. MCI cases had a bimodal distribution of SUVRs. [18F]Flutemetamol-positive MCI subjects showed a large variability in hippocampus volumes, indicating that these subjects were in different stages of neurodegeneration. Some [18F]flutemetamol-negative MCI scans had hippocampus volumes that were well below the HV range. Clinical follow-up showed that 8 of 9 MCI to AD converters came from the [18F]flutemetamol-positive group. Conclusion: Combining [18F]flutemetamol PET with structural MRI provides additional information for categorizing disease and potentially predicting shorter time to progression from MCI to AD, but this has to be validated in larger longitudinal studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)246-249
JournalNeurodegenerative Diseases
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event10th International Conference AD/PD - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 9 Mar 201113 Mar 2011


  • [18F]Flutemetamol
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • mild cognitive impairment


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