Neuroimaging correlates with neuropathologic schemes in neurodegenerative disease

Val J. Lowe, Emily S. Lundt, Sabrina M. Albertson, Scott A. Przybelski, Matthew L. Senjem, Joseph E. Parisi, Kejal Kantarci, Bradley Boeve, David T. Jones, David Knopman, Clifford R. Jack, Dennis W. Dickson, Ronald C. Petersen, Melissa E. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Introduction: Neuroimaging biomarkers are important for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, and comparing multimodality neuroimaging to autopsy data is essential. Methods: We compared the pathologic findings from a prospective autopsy cohort (n = 100) to Pittsburgh compound B PET (PiB-PET), 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose PET (FDG-PET), and MRI. Correlations between neuroimaging biomarkers and neuropathologic schemes were assessed. Results: PiB-PET showed strong correlations with Thal amyloid phase and Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer's Disease score and categorized 44% of Thal phase 1 participants as positive. FDG-PET and MRI correlated modestly with Braak tangle stage in Alzheimer's type pathology. A subset of participants with “none” or “sparse” neuritic plaque scores had elevated PiB-PET signal due to diffuse amyloid plaque. Participants with findings characterized as “suspected non-Alzheimer's pathophysiology” represented 15% of the group. Discussion: PiB-PET is associated with Alzheimer's disease, neuritic plaques, and diffuse plaques. FDG-PET and MRI have modest correlation with neuropathologic schemes. Participants with findings characterized as suspected non-Alzheimer's pathophysiology most commonly had primary age-related tauopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)927-939
Number of pages13
JournalAlzheimer's and Dementia
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2019


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Amyloid-PET
  • Autopsy
  • Braak tangle stage
  • Dementia
  • MRI
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Neurodegeneration
  • SNAP
  • Tau-PET
  • Thal amyloid stage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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