Clinicopathologic and 11C-Pittsburgh compound B implications of Thal amyloid phase across the Alzheimer's disease spectrum

Melissa E. Murray, Val J. Lowe, Neill R. Graff-Radford, Amanda M. Liesinger, Ashley Cannon, Scott A. Przybelski, Bhupendra Rawal, Joseph E. Parisi, Ronald C. Petersen, Kejal Kantarci, Owen A. Ross, Ranjan Duara, David S. Knopman, Clifford R. Jack, Dennis W. Dickson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

169 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thal amyloid phase, which describes the pattern of progressive amyloid-β plaque deposition in Alzheimer's disease, was incorporated into the latest National Institute of Ageing-Alzheimer's Association neuropathologic assessment guidelines. Amyloid biomarkers (positron emission tomography and cerebrospinal fluid) were included in clinical diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer's disease dementia published by the National Institute of Ageing-Alzheimer's Association and the International Work group. Our first goal was to evaluate the correspondence of Thal amyloid phase to Braak tangle stage and ante-mortem clinical characteristics in a large autopsy cohort. Second, we examined the relevance of Thal amyloid phase in a prospectively-followed autopsied cohort who underwent ante-mortem 11C-Pittsburgh compound B imaging; using the large autopsy cohort to broaden our perspective of 11C-Pittsburgh compound B results. The Mayo Clinic Jacksonville Brain Bank case series (n = 3618) was selected regardless of ante-mortem clinical diagnosis and neuropathologic co-morbidities, and all assigned Thal amyloid phase and Braak tangle stage using thioflavin-S fluorescent microscopy. 11C-Pittsburgh compound B studies from Mayo Clinic Rochester were available for 35 participants scanned within 2 years of death. Cortical 11C-Pittsburgh compound B values were calculated as a standard uptake value ratio normalized to cerebellum grey/white matter. In the high likelihood Alzheimer's disease brain bank cohort (n = 1375), cases with lower Thal amyloid phases were older at death, had a lower Braak tangle stage, and were less frequently APOE-ε4 positive. Regression modelling in these Alzheimer's disease cases, showed that Braak tangle stage, but not Thal amyloid phase predicted age at onset, disease duration, and final Mini-Mental State Examination score. In contrast, Thal amyloid phase, but not Braak tangle stage or cerebral amyloid angiopathy predicted 11C-Pittsburgh compound B standard uptake value ratio. In the 35 cases with ante-mortem amyloid imaging, a transition between Thal amyloid phases 1 to 2 seemed to correspond to 11C-Pittsburgh compound B standard uptake value ratio of 1.4, which when using our pipeline is the cut-off point for detection of clear amyloid-positivity regardless of clinical diagnosis. Alzheimer's disease cases who were older and were APOE-ε4 negative tended to have lower amyloid phases. Although Thal amyloid phase predicted clinical characteristics of Alzheimer's disease patients, the pre-mortem clinical status was driven by Braak tangle stage. Thal amyloid phase correlated best with 11C-Pittsburgh compound B values, but not Braak tangle stage or cerebral amyloid angiopathy. The 11C-Pittsburgh compound B cut-off point value of 1.4 was approximately equivalent to a Thal amyloid phase of 1-2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1370-1381
Number of pages12
JournalBrain
Volume138
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2015

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Braak tangle stage
  • Pittsburgh compound B
  • Thal amyloid phase
  • neuropathology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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    Murray, M. E., Lowe, V. J., Graff-Radford, N. R., Liesinger, A. M., Cannon, A., Przybelski, S. A., Rawal, B., Parisi, J. E., Petersen, R. C., Kantarci, K., Ross, O. A., Duara, R., Knopman, D. S., Jack, C. R., & Dickson, D. W. (2015). Clinicopathologic and 11C-Pittsburgh compound B implications of Thal amyloid phase across the Alzheimer's disease spectrum. Brain, 138(5), 1370-1381. https://doi.org/10.1093/brain/awv050