Assessing Amyloid Pathology in Cognitively Normal Subjects Using 18 F-Flutemetamol PET: Comparing Visual Reads and Quantitative Methods

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Our objective was to determine the optimal approach for assessing amyloid disease in a cognitively normal elderly population. Methods: Dynamic 18F-flutemetamol PET scans were acquired using a coffee-break protocol (a 0- to 30-min scan and a 90- to 110-min scan) on 190 cognitively normal elderly individuals (mean age, 70.4 y; 60% female). Parametric images were generated from SUV ratio (SUVr) and nondisplaceable binding potential (BPND) methods, with cerebellar gray matter as a reference region, and were visually assessed by 3 trained readers. Interreader agreement was calculated using κ-statistics, and semiquantitative values were obtained. Global cutoffs were calculated for both SUVr and BPND using a receiver-operating-characteristic analysis and the Youden index. Visual assessment was related to semiquantitative classifications. Results: Interreader agreement in visual assessment was moderate for SUVr (κ = 0.57) and good for BPND images (κ = 0.77). There was discordance between readers for 35 cases (18%) using SUVr and for 15 cases (8%) using BPND, with 9 overlapping cases. For the total cohort, the mean (±SD) SUVr and BPND were 1.33 (±0.21) and 0.16 (±0.12), respectively. Most of the 35 cases (91%) for which SUVr image assessment was discordant between readers were classified as negative based on semiquantitative measurements. Conclusion: The use of parametric BPND images for visual assessment of 18F-flutemetamol in a population with low amyloid burden improves interreader agreement. Implementing semiquantification in addition to visual assessment of SUVr images can reduce false-positive classification in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date12 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


  • 18F-flutemetamol PET
  • F-flutemetamol PET
  • amyloid pathology
  • preclinical Alzheimer disease
  • visual assessment

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