, Volume 258, Issue 10, pp 1841-1851
Date: 10 Apr 2011

In vivo demonstration of amyloid burden in posterior cortical atrophy: a case series with PET and CSF findings

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Our objective was to evaluate amyloid deposition in posterior cortical atrophy (PCA), using both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker analysis and amyloid imaging. Five PCA patients, selected based on their neuropsychological profile and atrophic changes in posterior regions on MRI, underwent CSF analysis. CSF amyloid-beta 1–42, total tau, and phosphorylated tau at threonine 181 levels were determined. They also had positron emission tomography (PET) with Pittsburgh Compound B ([11C]PIB). [11C]PIB ratio images were assessed with visual, regional and voxel-based analyses and compared to eight typical Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients and eight controls. The biological profile in the five PCA patients, resulting from CSF and [11C]PIB images analysis, was consistent with AD. Individual comparisons of PCA patients’ [11C]PIB images with the AD group with Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM) revealed a distinctive posterior uptake in four out of the five patients showing increased amyloid deposition in occipital, temporal, and/or parietal regions. ROI group analysis showed a tendency for higher amyloid deposition in occipital and temporal regions. However, this pattern was not found with SPM group analysis when the global level of [11C]PIB uptake was used as a covariate. Our results indicate that amyloid burden can be demonstrated in vivo in PCA suggesting a diagnosis of AD. PCA patients may present a higher global amyloid load than AD that was not related to age at onset, disease severity, disease duration, or educational level in our study. Combined CSF and PET biomarkers seem helpful for in vivo diagnosis of this focal syndrome with underlying AD pathology.