Neuroimaging correlates with neuropathologic schemes in neurodegenerative disease

Val Lowe, Emily S. Lundt, Sabrina M. Albertson, Scott A. Przybelski, Matthew L. Senjem, Joseph E Parisi, Kejal M Kantarci, Bradley F Boeve, David T Jones, David S Knopman, Clifford R Jr. Jack, Dennis W Dickson, Ronald Carl Petersen, Melissa E Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Neuroimaging biomarkers are important for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and comparing multimodality neuroimaging to autopsy data is essential. Methods: We compared the pathologic findings from a prospective autopsy cohort (n = 100)to Pittsburgh compound B PET (PiB-PET), 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET (FDG-PET), and MRI. Correlations between neuroimaging biomarkers and neuropathologic schemes were assessed. Results: PiB-PET showed strong correlations with Thal amyloid phase and Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease score and categorized 44% of Thal phase 1 participants as positive. FDG-PET and MRI correlated modestly with Braak tangle stage in Alzheimer's type pathology. A subset of participants with “none” or “sparse” neuritic plaque scores had elevated PiB-PET signal due to diffuse amyloid plaque. Participants with findings characterized as “suspected non-Alzheimer's pathophysiology” represented 15% of the group. Discussion: PiB-PET is associated with Alzheimer's disease, neuritic plaques, and diffuse plaques. FDG-PET and MRI have modest correlation with neuropathologic schemes. Participants with findings characterized as suspected non-Alzheimer's pathophysiology most commonly had primary age-related tauopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Amyloid-PET
  • Autopsy
  • Braak tangle stage
  • Dementia
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • MRI
  • Neurodegeneration
  • SNAP
  • Tau-PET
  • Thal amyloid stage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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