Journal of Alzheimer's disease : JAD

Utility of Amyloid and FDG-PET in Clinical Practice: Differences Between Secondary and Tertiary Care Memory Units.

PMID 29710706


The clinical utility of amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) has not been fully established. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of amyloid imaging on clinical decision making in a secondary care unit and compare our results with a previous study in a tertiary center following the same methods. We reviewed retrospectively 151 cognitively impaired patients who underwent amyloid (Pittsburgh compound B [PiB]) PET and were evaluated clinically before and after the scan in a secondary care unit. One hundred and fifty concurrently underwent fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG)-PET. We assessed changes between the pre- and post-PET clinical diagnosis and Alzheimer's disease treatment plan. The association between PiB/FDG results and changes in management was evaluated using χ2 and multivariate logistic regression. Concordance between classification based on scan readings and baseline diagnosis was 66% for PiB and 47% for FDG. The primary diagnosis changed after PET in 17.2% of cases. When examined independently, discordant PiB and discordant FDG were both associated with diagnostic change (p < 0.0001). However, when examined together in a multivariate logistic regression, only discordant PiB remained significant (p = 0.0002). Changes in treatment were associated with concordant PiB (p = 0.009) while FDG had no effect on treatment decisions. Based on our regression model, patients with diagnostic dilemmas, a suspected non-amyloid syndrome, and Clinical Dementia Rating <1 were more likely to benefit from amyloid PET due to a higher likelihood of diagnostic change. We found that changes in diagnosis after PET in our secondary center almost doubled those of our previous analysis of a tertiary unit (9% versus 17.2%). Our results offer some clues about the rational use of amyloid PET in a secondary care memory unit stressing its utility in mild cognitive impairment patients.

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PiB, ≥98% (HPLC)