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Journal Article

Early-phase [18F]PI-2620 tau-PET imaging as a surrogate marker of neuronal injury


Schroeter,  Matthias L.
Department Neurology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Beyer, L., Nitschmann, A., Barthel, H., van Eimeren, T., Unterrainer, M., Sauerbeck, J., et al. (2020). Early-phase [18F]PI-2620 tau-PET imaging as a surrogate marker of neuronal injury. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. doi:10.1007/s00259-020-04788-w.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0006-59D2-9
Purpose Second-generation tau radiotracers for use with positron emission tomography (PET) have been developed for visualization of tau deposits in vivo. For several β-amyloid and first-generation tau-PET radiotracers, it has been shown that early-phase images can be used as a surrogate of neuronal injury. Therefore, we investigated the performance of early acquisitions of the novel tau-PET radiotracer [18F]PI-2620 as a potential substitute for [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose ([18F]FDG). Methods Twenty-six subjects were referred with suspected tauopathies or overlapping parkinsonian syndromes (Alzheimer’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal syndrome, multi-system atrophy, Parkinson’s disease, multi-system atrophy, Parkinson's disease, frontotemporal dementia) and received a dynamic [18F]PI-2620 tau-PET (0–60 min p.i.) and static [18F]FDG-PET (30–50 min p.i.). Regional standardized uptake value ratios of early-phase images (single frame SUVr) and the blood flow estimate (R1) of [18F]PI-2620-PET were correlated with corresponding quantification of [18F]FDG-PET (global mean/cerebellar normalization). Reduced tracer uptake in cortical target regions was also interpreted visually using 3-dimensional stereotactic surface projections by three more and three less experienced readers. Spearman rank correlation coefficients were calculated between early-phase [18F]PI-2620 tau-PET and [18F]FDG-PET images for all cortical regions and frequencies of disagreement between images were compared for both more and less experienced readers. Results Highest agreement with [18F]FDG-PET quantification was reached for [18F]PI-2620-PET acquisition from 0.5 to 2.5 min p.i. for global mean (lowest R = 0.69) and cerebellar scaling (lowest R = 0.63). Correlation coefficients (summed 0.5–2.5 min SUVr & R1) displayed strong agreement in all cortical target regions for global mean (RSUVr 0.76, RR1 = 0.77) and cerebellar normalization (RSUVr 0.68, RR1 = 0.68). Visual interpretation revealed high regional correlations between early-phase tau-PET and [18F]FDG-PET. There were no relevant differences between more and less experienced readers. Conclusion Early-phase imaging of [18F]PI-2620 can serve as a surrogate biomarker for neuronal injury. Dynamic imaging or a dual time-point protocol for tau-PET imaging could supersede additional [18F]FDG-PET imaging by indexing both the distribution of tau and the extent of neuronal injury.