In vivo amyloid imaging with PET in frontotemporal dementia

  • Henry Engler
  • Alexander Frizell Santillo
  • Shu Xia Wang
  • Maria Lindau
  • Irina Savitcheva
  • Agneta Nordberg
  • Lars Lannfelt
  • Bengt Långström
  • Lena Kilander
Original article



N-methyl[11C]2-(4′methylaminophenyl)-6-hydroxy-benzothiazole (PIB) is a positron emission tomography (PET) tracer with amyloid binding properties which allows in vivo measurement of cerebral amyloid load in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a syndrome that can be clinically difficult to distinguish from AD, but in FTD amyloid deposition is not a characteristic pathological finding.


The aim of this study is to investigate PIB retention in FTD.


Ten patients with the diagnosis of FTD participated. The diagnosis was based on clinical and neuropsychological examination, computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging scan, and PET with 18Fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG). The PIB retention, measured in regions of interest, was normalised to a reference region (cerebellum). The results were compared with PIB retention data previously obtained from 17 AD patients with positive PIB retention and eight healthy controls (HC) with negative PIB retention. Statistical analysis was performed with a students t-test with significance level set to 0.00625 after Bonferroni correction.


Eight FTD patients showed significantly lower PIB retention compared to AD in frontal (p < 0.0001), parietal (p < 0.0001), temporal (p = 0.0001), and occipital (p = 0.0003) cortices as well as in putamina (p < 0.0001). The PIB uptake in these FTD patients did not differ significantly from the HC in any region. However, two of the 10 FTD patients showed PIB retention similar to AD patients.


The majority of FTD patients displayed no PIB retention. Thus, PIB could potentially aid in differentiating between FTD and AD.


Frontotemporal dementia Amyloid PET PIB AD 



The authors wish to thank the Uppsala University Amersham’s Fund (project number UU0058) and the Emma Pettersson Foundation, Sweden, for providing economic support. We thank the staff of Uppsala Imanet for their dedication and professionalism performing this study, in addition to the patients and their relatives for their participation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry Engler
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Alexander Frizell Santillo
    • 5
  • Shu Xia Wang
    • 6
  • Maria Lindau
    • 5
  • Irina Savitcheva
    • 2
  • Agneta Nordberg
    • 7
    • 8
  • Lars Lannfelt
    • 5
  • Bengt Långström
    • 4
    • 9
  • Lena Kilander
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineUruguay University Hospital of Clinics and Faculty of ScienceMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear MedicineUppsala University HospitalUppsalaSweden
  3. 3.Department of Medical SciencesUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  4. 4.Uppsala ImanetGE HealthcareUppsalaSweden
  5. 5.Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences/GeriatricsUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  6. 6.Weilun PET CentreGuangdong Provincial People’s HospitalGuangzhouChina
  7. 7.Division of Molecular NeuropharmacologyKarolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  8. 8.Department of Geriatric MedicineKarolinska University Hospital HuddingeStockholmSweden
  9. 9.Departments of Biochemistry and Organic ChemistryUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden

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