A review of diagnostic impact of amyloid positron emission tomography imaging in clinical practice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Molecular imaging of brain amyloid for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) using positron emission tomography (PET) has been approved for use in clinical practice by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2012. However, the clinical utility and diagnostic impact of amyloid PET imaging remain controversial. We conducted a review of the recent studies investigating clinical utility of amyloid PET imaging with focus on changes in diagnosis, diagnostic confidence, and patient management. Summary: A total of 16 studies were included in the final analysis. Overall rate of changes in diagnosis after amyloid PET ranged from 9 to 68% (pooled estimate of 31%, 95% CI 23-39%). All studies reported overall increase in diagnostic confidence or diagnostic certainty after amyloid PET. Changes in patient management ranged from 37 to 87%; the most common type of change in management reported was either the initiation or discontinuation of planned AD medications. Key Messages: Amyloid PET imaging led to moderate to significant changes in diagnosis, diagnostic confidence, and subsequent patient management. It may be most useful in patients with high level of diagnostic uncertainty even after the completing the standard workup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-167
Number of pages14
JournalDementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid
  • Biomarkers
  • Dementia
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Positron emission tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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