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Tracer kinetic analysis of (S)-18F-THK5117 as a PET tracer for assessing tau pathology.

Jonasson, My; Wall, Anders; Chiotis, Konstantinos; Saint-Aubert, Laure; Wilking, Helena; Sprycha, Margareta; Borg, Beatrice; Thibblin, Alf; Eriksson, Jonas P; Sörensen, Jens; Antoni, Gunnar; Nordberg, Agneta; Lubberink, Mark

Because a correlation between tau pathology and the clinical symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) has been hypothesized, there is increasing interest in developing PET tracers that bind specifically to tau protein. The aim of this study was to evaluate tracer kinetic models for quantitative analysis and generation of parametric images for the novel tau ligand (S)-18F-THK5117.

METHODS: 9 subjects (5 with AD, 4 with mild cognitive impairment) received a 90 min dynamic (S)-18F-THK5117 PET scan. Arterial blood was sampled for measurement of blood radioactivity and metabolite analysis. VOI-based analysis was performed using plasma-input models; single-tissue and two-tissue (2TCM) compartment models and plasma-input Logan, and reference tissue models; simplified reference tissue model (SRTM), reference Logan and standardised uptake value ratio (SUVr). Cerebellum grey matter was used as reference region. Voxel-level analysis was performed using basis function implementations of SRTM, reference Logan and SUVr. Regionally averaged voxel values were compared to VOI-based values from the optimal reference tissue model and simulations were made to assess accuracy and precision. In addition to 90 min, initial 40 and 60 min data were analysed.

RESULTS: Plasma-input Logan distribution volume ratio (DVR)-1 values agreed well with 2TCM DVR-1 values (R2=0.99, slope=0.96). SRTM binding potential (BPND) and reference Logan DVR-1 values were highly correlated with plasma-input Logan DVR-1 (R2=1.00, slope≈1.00) while SUVr70-90-1 values correlated less well and overestimated binding. Agreement between parametric methods and SRTM was best for reference Logan (R2=0.99, slope=1.03). SUVr70-90-1 values were almost 3 times higher than BPND values in white matter and 1.5 times higher in grey matter. Simulations showed poorer accuracy and precision for SUVr70-90-1 values than for the other reference methods. SRTM BPND and reference Logan DVR-1 values were not affected by a shorter scan duration of 60 min.

CONCLUSION: SRTM BPND and reference Logan DVR-1 values were highly correlated with plasma-input Logan DVR-1 values. VOI-based data analyses indicated robust results for scan durations of 60 min. Reference Logan generated quantitative (S)-18F-THK5117 DVR-1 parametric images with the greatest accuracy and precision, and with a much lower white matter signal than seen with SUVr-1 images.

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