Compensating for choroid plexus based off-target signal in the hippocampus using 18F-flortaucipir PET

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Purpose: The hippocampus is affected by tau pathology early in Alzheimer's disease (AD) development. Accurate quantification of hippocampal tau signal using the tau-PET tracer 18F-flortaucipir is complicated, however, by off-target binding in the adjacent choroid plexus. We here present a new method for compensating for this off-target choroid plexus signal. Methods: As off-target binding in the choroid plexus is known to be higher using 18F-flortaucipir compared to 18F-RO948, we created a binary hippocampal mask in template space where 18F-flortaucipir signal was higher than 18F-RO948, using data from 30 patients that underwent both 18F-flortaucipir and 18F-RO948 PET. This mask, presumably representing hippocampal voxels affected by off-target binding from the choroid plexus, was then converted to native space and applied as an exclusion mask to 145 patients across the AD-spectrum scanned with 18F-flortaucipir. As an alternative approach exclusion masks were generated by expanding the choroid plexus ROI in native space. Results were analysed both without and with partial volume error correction (non-PVEc/PVEc). Results: Unmasked hippocampal standardized uptake value ratios (SUVR) were significantly correlated to choroid plexus SUVRs using both non-PVEc (p < 0.001, r = 0.28) and PVEc data (p < 0.05, r = 0.18). After applying the mask, however, these correlations disappeared. The diagnostic accuracy in separating cognitively impaired (CI) from cognitively unimpaired (CU) subjects improved after masking, from an AUC of 0.792 (95% C.I.,0.715–0.869) to 0.837 (95% C.I.,0.768–0.906) for non-PVEc data (p < 0.001), and from 0.798 (95% C.I.,0.722–0.873) to 0.834 (95% C.I.,0.766–0.903) for PVEc data (p < 0.001). The correlations to memory improved significantly for MMSE for unmasked vs. masked data both without (r = −0.440 vs. r = −0.499, p < 0.001) and with (r = −0.454 vs. r = −0.503, p < 0.001) PVEc. Similar results were found using the ADAS-Cog Delayed Word Recall test. Conclusion: Choroid plexus off-target binding interferes with the estimation of true hippocampal retention using 18F-flortaucipir PET. Using a mask to correct for this off-target signal, we improved the diagnostic accuracy of 18F-flortaucipir in the hippocampus and the correlation between 18F-flortaucipir hippocampal SUVR and cognitive measures.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • Skåne University Hospital

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Neurologi


StatusPublished - 2020
Peer review utfördJa