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Multimodal correlation of dynamic [18F]-AV-1451 perfusion PET and neuronal hypometabolism in [18F]-FDG PET



Cerebral glucose metabolism measured with [18F]-FDG PET is a well established marker of neuronal dysfunction in neurodegeneration. The tau-protein tracer [18F]-AV-1451 PET is currently under evaluation and shows promising results. Here, we assess the feasibility of early perfusion imaging with AV-1451 as a substite for FDG PET in assessing neuronal injury.


Twenty patients with suspected neurodegeneration underwent FDG and early phase AV-1451 PET imaging. Ten one-minute timeframes were acquired after application of 200 MBq AV-1451. FDG images were acquired on a different date according to clinical protocol. Early AV-1451 timeframes were coregistered to individual FDG-scans and spatially normalized. Voxel-wise intermodal correlations were calculated on within-subject level for every possible time window. The window with highest pooled correlation was considered optimal. Z-transformed deviation maps (ZMs) were created from both FDG and early AV-1451 images, comparing against FDG images of healthy controls.


Regional patterns and extent of perfusion deficits were highly comparable to metabolic deficits. Best results were observed in a time window from 60 to 360 s (r = 0.86). Correlation strength ranged from r = 0.96 (subcortical gray matter) to 0.83 (frontal lobe) in regional analysis. ZMs of early AV-1451 and FDG images were highly similar.


Perfusion imaging with AV-1451 is a valid biomarker for assessment of neuronal dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases. Radiation exposure and complexity of the diagnostic workup could be reduced significantly by routine acquisition of early AV-1451 images, sparing additional FDG PET.

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Correspondence to Jochen Hammes.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

IL, GNB and JH report no potential conflicts of interest. AD received consulting and speaker honoraria and research support from Siemens Healthcare, AVID Radiopharmaceuticals, Lilly, Piramal, and GE Healthcare. TvE received lecture fees from Lilly Germany, and research funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Leibniz Association and the EU-joint program for neurodegenerative disease research (JPND).

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Hammes, J., Leuwer, I., Bischof, G.N. et al. Multimodal correlation of dynamic [18F]-AV-1451 perfusion PET and neuronal hypometabolism in [18F]-FDG PET. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 44, 2249–2256 (2017).

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  • Av-1451
  • Tau-imaging
  • Cerebral perfusion
  • Cerebral FDG metabolism
  • Neurodegeneration