Comparison of 11C-PiB and 18F-florbetaben for Aβ imaging in ageing and Alzheimer’s disease

  • Victor L. Villemagne
  • Rachel S. Mulligan
  • Svetlana Pejoska
  • Kevin Ong
  • Gareth Jones
  • Graeme O’Keefe
  • J. Gordon Chan
  • Kenneth Young
  • Henri Tochon-Danguy
  • Colin L. Masters
  • Christopher C. Rowe
Original Article



Amyloid imaging with 18F-labelled radiotracers will allow widespread use of this technique, facilitating research, diagnosis and therapeutic development for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The purpose of this analysis was to compare data on cortical Aβ deposition in subjects who had undergone both 11C-PiB (PiB) and 18F-florbetaben (FBB) PET imaging.


We identified ten healthy elderly controls (HC) and ten patients with AD who had undergone PET imaging after intravenous injection of 370 MBq of PiB and 300 MBq of FBB under separate research protocols. PiB and FBB images were coregistered so that placement of regions of interest was identical on both scans and standard uptake value ratios (SUVR) using the cerebellar cortex as reference region were calculated between 40 and 70 min and between 90 and 110 min after injection for PiB and FBB, respectively.


Significantly higher SUVR values (p < 0.0001) in most cortical areas were observed in AD patients when compared with HC with both radiotracers. Global SUVR values in AD patients were on average 75% higher than in HC with PiB and 56% higher with FBB. There was an excellent linear correlation between PiB and FBB global SUVR values (r = 0.97, p < 0.0001) with similar effect sizes for distinguishing AD from HC subjects for both radiotracers (Cohen’s d 3.3 for PiB and 3.0 for FBB).


FBB, while having a narrower dynamic range than PiB, clearly distinguished HC from AD patients, with a comparable effect size. FBB seems a suitable 18F radiotracer for imaging AD pathology in vivo.


Alzheimer’s disease Amyloid imaging Aβ Positron emission tomography 



We thank Prof. Michael Woodward, Dr. John Merory, Dr. Peter Drysdale, Dr. Sylvia Gong, Ms. Fiona Lamb, Ms. Tanya Petts, Ms. Jessica Sagona, Mr. Ignatius Reilly and Mr. Jason Bradley, and the Brain Research Institute, for their assistance with this study.

This work was supported in part by grant 509166 from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, the Austin Hospital Medical Research Foundation, and Neurosciences Victoria.

Conflicts of interest

Drs. Villemagne and Rowe are consultants for Bayer Healthcare AG.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Victor L. Villemagne
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rachel S. Mulligan
    • 1
  • Svetlana Pejoska
    • 1
  • Kevin Ong
    • 1
  • Gareth Jones
    • 1
  • Graeme O’Keefe
    • 1
  • J. Gordon Chan
    • 1
  • Kenneth Young
    • 1
  • Henri Tochon-Danguy
    • 1
  • Colin L. Masters
    • 3
  • Christopher C. Rowe
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine and Centre for PETAustin HealthHeidelbergAustralia
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  3. 3.The Mental Health Research Institute of VictoriaParkvilleAustralia

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