To facilitate population screening and clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer's disease, supportive biomarker information is necessary. This study was aimed to investigate the association of plasma amyloid-beta (Aß) levels with the presence of pathological accumulation of Aß in the brain measured by amyloid-PET. Both plasma Aß42/40 ratio alone or combined with an FDG-PET-based biomarker of neurodegeneration were assessed as potential AD biomarkers.
We included 39 cognitively normal subjects and 20 patients with mild cognitive impairment from the AB255 Study who had undergone PiB-PET scans. Total Aß40 and Aß42 levels in plasma (TP42/40) were quantified using ABtest kits. Subjects were dichotomized as Aß-PET positive or negative, and the ability of TP42/40 to detect Aß-PET positivity was assessed by logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic analyses. Combination of plasma Aß biomarkers and FDG-PET was further assessed as an improvement for brain amyloidosis detection and diagnosis classification.
Eighteen (30.5%) subjects were Aß-PET positive. TP42/40 ratio alone identified Aß-PET status with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.881 (95% confidence interval [CI]¿=¿0.779-0.982). Discriminating performance of TP42/40 to detect Aß-PET-positive subjects yielded sensitivity and specificity values at Youden's cutoff of 77.8% and 87.5%, respectively, with a positive predictive value of 0.732 and negative predictive value of 0.900. All these parameters improved after adjusting the model for significant covariates. Applying TP42/40 as the first screening tool in a sequential diagnostic work-up would reduce the number of Aß-PET scans by 64%. Combination of both FDG-PET scores and plasma Aß biomarkers was found to be the most accurate Aß-PET predictor, with an AUC of 0.965 (95% CI¿=¿0.913-0.100).
Plasma TP42/40 ratio showed a relevant and significant potential as a screening tool to identify brain Aß positivity in preclinical and prodromal stages of Alzheimer's disease.