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Amyloid positron-emission-tomography with [18 F]-florbetaben in the diagnostic workup of dementia patients

[Article in German] Nervenarzt. 2016 Dec 2. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Schönecker S, Prix C, Raiser T, Ackl N, Wlasich E, Stenglein-Krapf G, Mille E, Brendel M, Sabri O, Patt M, Barthel H, Bartenstein P, Levin J, Rominger A, Danek A.
Publication Date: 2016



Background: To this day the definite diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease still relies on post-mortem histopathological detection of neurofibrillary tangles and beta-amyloid deposits. Amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) is a new diagnostic tool that enables the in vivo quantification of pathological beta-amyloid deposits. The aim of the current study was to evaluate to what extent (18)F-florbetaben-PET (FBB-PET) influences the diagnosis of patients with dementia. Material and methods: Imaging with FBB-PET was performed on 33 patients from our outpatient department for cognitive neurology. Beforehand all patients underwent a comprehensive clinical, neuropsychiatric and laboratory examination as well as imaging by means of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and fluorodeoxyglucose-PET. The working diagnoses before and after FBB-PET imaging were compared. Results: 17 out of 33 patients were scored as FBB-PET positive. In four cases the initial diagnosis had to be changed to Alzheimer's disease (three cases) and cerebral amyloid angiopathy (one case) due to the positive FBB-PET scan. 16 patients showed a negative FBB-PET scan. In three patients the initial diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease could be ruled out due to the negative FBB-PET scan. Overall, in 7 out of 33 examined patients the initial diagnosis had to be changed because of the findings of the FBB-PET scan. In 24 patients the initial diagnosis was confirmed by the results of the FBB-PET scan. Conclusion: Amyloid-PET is currently no standard procedure in the diagnosis of dementia; however, it can be a helpful additional diagnostic tool when used according to the "Appropriate Use Criteria" and the S3 guidelines on dementia in cases of unclear clinical presentation, atypically early age of onset as well as in patients with persistent or progressive unexplained mild cognitive impairment. By facilitating early diagnosis amyloid-PET imaging allows patient selection for therapeutic drug trials.

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