PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to explore the cerebral distribution of the tau-specific PET tracer [(18)F]THK5317 (also known as (S)-[(18)F]THK5117) retention in different stages of Alzheimer's disease; and study any associations with markers of hypometabolism and amyloid-beta deposition.
METHODS: Thirty-three individuals were enrolled, including nine patients with Alzheimer's disease dementia, thirteen with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), two with non-Alzheimer's disease dementia, and nine healthy controls (five young and four elderly). In a multi-tracer PET design [(18)F]THK5317, [(11)C] Pittsburgh compound B ([(11)C]PIB), and [(18)F]FDG were used to assess tau pathology, amyloid-beta deposition and cerebral glucose metabolism, respectively. The MCI patients were further divided into MCI [(11)C]PIB-positive (n = 11) and MCI [(11)C]PIB-negative (n = 2) groups.
RESULTS: Test-retest variability for [(18)F]THK5317-PET was very low (1.17-3.81 %), as shown by retesting five patients. The patients with prodromal (MCI [(11)C]PIB-positive) and dementia-stage Alzheimer's disease had significantly higher [(18)F]THK5317 retention than healthy controls (p = 0.002 and p = 0.001, respectively) in areas exceeding limbic regions, and their discrimination from this control group (using the area under the curve) was >98 %. Focal negative correlations between [(18)F]THK5317 retention and [(18)F]FDG uptake were observed mainly in the frontal cortex, and focal positive correlations were found between [(18)F]THK5317 and [(11)C]PIB retentions isocortically. One patient with corticobasal degeneration syndrome and one with progressive supranuclear palsy showed no [(11)C]PIB but high [(18)F]THK5317 retentions with a different regional distribution from that in Alzheimer's disease patients.
CONCLUSIONS: The tau-specific PET tracer [(18)F]THK5317 images in vivo the expected regional distribution of tau pathology. This distribution contrasts with the different patterns of hypometabolism and amyloid-beta deposition.
2016. Vol. 43, no 9, 1686-1699 p.