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Neurol India. 2019 Sep-Oct;67(5):1310-1317. doi: 10.4103/0028-3886.271245.

Biomarker-Based Prediction of Progression to Dementia: F-18 FDG-PET in Amnestic MCI.

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Department of Nuclear Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Neurology, Cardiothoracic and Neurosciences Centre, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
Department of Biostatistics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



Metabolic patterns on brain F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) can predict the decline in amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) to Alzheimer's disease dementia (AD) or other dementias.


This study was undertaken to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of baseline F-18 FDG-PET in aMCI for predicting conversion to AD or other dementias on follow-up.

Patients and Methods:

A total of 87 patients with aMCI were enrolled in the study. Each patient underwent a detailed clinical and neuropsychological examination and FDG-PET at baseline. Each PET scan was visually classified based on predefined dementia patterns. Automated analysis of FDG PET was performed using Cortex ID (GE Healthcare). The mean follow-up duration was 30.4 ± 9.3 months (range: 18-48 months). Diagnosis of dementia at follow-up (obtained using clinical diagnostic criteria) constituted the reference standard, and all the included aMCI patients were divided into two groups: the aMCI converters (MCI-C) and MCI nonconverters (MCI-NC). Diagnostic accuracy of FDG PET was calculated using this reference standard.


There were 23 MCI-C and 64 MCI-NC. Of the 23 MCI-C, 19 were diagnosed as probable AD, 1 as frontotemporal demetia (FTD), and 3 as vascular dementia (VD). Of the 64 MCI-NC, 9 had subjective improvement in cognition, and 55 remained stable. The conversion rate for all types of dementia in our series was 26.4% (23/87) and for Alzheimer's type dementia was 21.8% (19/87). The of PET-based visual interpretation was 91.9%. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value for FDG-PET-based prediction of dementia conversion were 86.9% [confidence interval (CI) 66.4%-97.2%)], 93.7% (CI 84.7%-98.2%), 83.3% (CI 65.6%-92.9%), and 95.2% (CI 87.4%-98.9%), respectively. Kappa for agreement between visual and Cortex ID was 0.94 indicating excellent agreement. In the three aMCI patients progressing to VD, no specific abnormality in metabolic pattern was noted; however, there was marked cortical atrophy on computed tomography.


FDG-PET-based visual and cortex ID classification has a good accuracy in predicting progression to dementia including AD in the prodromal aMCI phase. Absence of typical metabolic patterns on FDG-PET can play an important exclusionary role for progression to dementia. Vascular cognitive impairment with cerebral atrophy needs further studies to confirm and uncover potential mechanisms.


Alzheimer's disease dementia; F-18 FDG; mild cognitive impairment; positron emission tomography

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