Classification of negative and positive 18F-florbetapir brain PET studies in subjective cognitive decline patients using a convolutional neural network

Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Visual reading of 18F-florbetapir positron emission tomography (PET) scans is used in the diagnostic process of patients with cognitive disorders for assessment of amyloid-ß (Aß) depositions. However, this can be time-consuming, and difficult in case of borderline amyloid pathology. Computer-aided pattern recognition can be helpful in this process but needs to be validated. The aim of this work was to develop, train, validate and test a convolutional neural network (CNN) for discriminating between Aß negative and positive 18F-florbetapir PET scans in patients with subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Methods: 18F-florbetapir PET images were acquired and visually assessed. The SCD cohort consisted of 133 patients from the SCIENCe cohort and 22 patients from the ADNI database. From the SCIENCe cohort, standardized uptake value ratio (SUVR) images were computed. From the ADNI database, SUVR images were extracted. 2D CNNs (axial, coronal and sagittal) were built to capture features of the scans. The SCIENCe scans were randomly divided into training and validation set (5-fold cross-validation), and the ADNI scans were used as test set. Performance was evaluated based on average accuracy, sensitivity and specificity from the cross-validation. Next, the best performing CNN was evaluated on the test set. Results: The sagittal 2D-CNN classified the SCIENCe scans with the highest average accuracy of 99% ± 2 (SD), sensitivity of 97% ± 7 and specificity of 100%. The ADNI scans were classified with a 95% accuracy, 100% sensitivity and 92.3% specificity. Conclusion: The 2D-CNN algorithm can classify Aß negative and positive 18F-florbetapir PET scans with high performance in SCD patients.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020


  • Amyloid
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Classification
  • Convolution neural network
  • F-florbetapir
  • Subjective cognitive decline

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