Pittsburgh compound-B PET white matter imaging and cognitive function in late multiple sclerosis

Burcu Zeydan, Val J. Lowe, Christopher G. Schwarz, Scott A. Przybelski, Nirubol Tosakulwong, Samantha M. Zuk, Matthew L. Senjem, Jeffrey L. Gunter, Rosebud O. Roberts, Michelle M. Mielke, Eduardo E. Benarroch, Moses Rodriguez, Mary M. Machulda, Timothy G. Lesnick, David S. Knopman, Ronald C. Petersen, Clifford R. Jack, Kejal Kantarci, Orhun H. Kantarci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Background: There is growing interest in white matter (WM) imaging with positron emission tomography (PET). Objectives: We studied the association of cognitive function in late multiple sclerosis (MS) with cortical and WM Pittsburgh compound-B PET (PiB-PET) binding. Methods: In the population-based Mayo Clinic Study of Aging, 24 of 4869 participants had MS (12 underwent PiB-PET). Controls were age and sex matched (5:1). We used automated or semi-automated processing for quantitative image analyses and conditional logistic regression for group differences. Results: MS patients had lower memory (p = 0.03) and language (p = 0.02) performance; smaller thalamic volumes (p = 0.003); and thinner temporal (p = 0.001) and frontal (p = 0.045) cortices on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) than controls. There was no difference in global cortical PiB standardized uptake value ratios between MS and controls (p = 0.35). PiB uptake was lower in areas of WM hyperintensities compared to normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in MS (p = 0.0002). Reduced PiB uptake in both the areas of WM hyperintensities (r = 0.65; p = 0.02) and NAWM (r = 0.69; p = 0.01) was associated with decreased visuospatial performance in MS. Conclusion: PiB uptake in the cortex in late MS is not different from normal age-matched controls. PiB uptake in the WM in late MS may be a marker of the large network structures’ integrity such as those involved in visuospatial performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-749
Number of pages11
JournalMultiple Sclerosis Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 1 2018


  • PET
  • Pittsburgh compound-B
  • cognition
  • multiple sclerosis
  • myelin
  • thalamus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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