In Alzheimer's Disease (AD) dual-tracer positron emission tomography (PET) studies with 2-[F-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) and C-11-labelled Pittsburgh Compound B (PIB) are used to assess metabolism and cerebral amyloid-beta deposition, respectively. Regional cerebral metabolism and blood flow (rCBF) are closely coupled, both providing an index for neuronal function. The present study compared PIB-derived rCBF, estimated by the ratio of tracer influx in target regions relative to reference region (R-1) and early-stage PIB uptake (ePIB), to FDG scans. Fifteen PIB positive (+) patients and fifteen PIB negative (-) subjects underwent both FDG and PIB PET scans to assess the use of R-1 and ePIB as a surrogate for FDG. First, subjects were classified based on visual inspection of the PIB PET images. Then, discriminative performance (PIB+ versus PIB-) of rCBF methods were compared to normalized regional FDG uptake. Strong positive correlations were found between analyses, suggesting that PIB-derived rCBF provides information that is closely related to what can be seen on FDG scans. Yet group related differences between method's distributions were seen as well. Also, a better correlation with FDG was found for R-1 than for ePIB. Further studies are needed to validate the use of R-1 as an alternative for FDG studies in clinical applications.
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