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J Nucl Med. 2009 Sep;50(9):1464-70. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.109.064360. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

Relationship of cerebrospinal fluid markers to 11C-PiB and 18F-FDDNP binding.

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  • 1Departments of Nuclear Medicine and PET Research, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential relationships between cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) measurements of beta-amyloid-1-42 (Abeta(1-42)) and total tau to (11)C-Pittsburgh compound B ((11)C-PiB) and 2-(1-{6-[(2-(18)F-fluoroethyl)(methyl)amino]-2-naphthyl}ethylidene) malononitrile ((18)F-FDDNP) binding as measured using PET.


A total of 37 subjects were included, consisting of 15 patients with Alzheimer disease (AD), 12 patients with mild cognitive impairment, and 10 healthy controls. All subjects underwent a lumbar puncture and PET using both (11)C-PiB and (18)F-FDDNP. For both PET tracers, parametric images of binding potential were generated. Potential associations of CSF levels of Abeta(1-42) and tau with (11)C-PiB and (18)F-FDDNP binding were assessed using Pearson correlation coefficients and linear regression analyses.


For both global (11)C-PiB and (18)F-FDDNP binding, significant correlations with CSF levels of Abeta(1-42) (r = -0.72 and -0.37, respectively) and tau (r = 0.58 and 0.56, respectively) were found across groups (all P < 0.001, except P < 0.05 for correlation between (18)F-FDDNP and Abeta(1-42)). Linear regression analyses showed that, adjusted for regional volume, age, sex, and diagnosis, global (11)C-PiB uptake had an inverse association with Abeta(1-42) CSF levels (standardized beta = -0.50, P < 0.001), whereas there was a positive association between global (18)F-FDDNP binding and tau CSF levels (standardized beta = 0.62, P < 0.01).


The good agreement between these 2 different types of biomarkers (i.e., CSF and PET) provides converging evidence for their validity. The inverse association between (11)C-PiB and CSF tau Abeta(1-42) confirms that (11)C-PiB measures amyloid load in the brain. The positive association between (18)F-FDDNP and CSF tau suggests that at least part of the specific signal of (18)F-FDDNP in AD patients is due to tangle formation.

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