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Neurology. 2007 Apr 10;68(15):1205-12.

11C-PIB PET imaging in Alzheimer disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

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  • 1Memory &Aging Center, University of California San Fransisco, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA.



The PET tracer (11)C-labeled Pittsburgh Compound-B ((11)C-PIB) specifically binds fibrillar amyloid-beta (Abeta) plaques and can be detected in Alzheimer disease (AD). We hypothesized that PET imaging with (11)C-PIB would discriminate AD from frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), a non-Abeta dementia.


Patients meeting research criteria for AD (n = 7) or FTLD (n = 12) and cognitively normal controls (n = 8) underwent PET imaging with (11)C-PIB (patients and controls) and (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose ((18)F-FDG) (patients only). (11)C-PIB whole brain and region of interest (ROI) distribution volume ratios (DVR) were calculated using Logan graphical analysis with cerebellum as a reference region. DVR images were visually rated by a blinded investigator as positive or negative for cortical (11)C-PIB, and summed (18)F-FDG images were rated as consistent with AD or FTLD.


All patients with AD (7/7) had positive (11)C-PIB scans by visual inspection, while 8/12 patients with FTLD and 7/8 controls had negative scans. Of the four PIB-positive patients with FTLD, two had (18)F-FDG scans that suggested AD, and two had (18)F-FDG scans suggestive of FTLD. Mean DVRs were higher in AD than in FTLD in whole brain, lateral frontal, precuneus, and lateral temporal cortex (p < 0.05), while DVRs in FTLD did not significantly differ from controls.


PET imaging with (11)C-labeled Pittsburgh Compound-B ((11)C-PIB) helps discriminate Alzheimer disease (AD) from frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Pathologic correlation is needed to determine whether patients with PIB-positive FTLD represent false positives, comorbid FTLD/AD pathology, or AD pathology mimicking an FTLD clinical syndrome.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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