Zubal G, Wisniewski G, Marek K, Seibyl J.
Automated image quantification methods of PET betaamyloid scans.
Human Amyloid Imaging 2011 Meeting Abstracts. 2011 Jan 15;
Background: Automated, objective image processing of PET scans is of potential value when 18F PET amyloid
tracers become available for clinical use. We have developed and tested PC executable code as a stand-alone
software application which automatically places regions of interest (ROIs) onto human PET brain scans and
extracts regional SUVr values for evaluating beta-amyloid levels.
Methods: Over 200 PET scans were analyzed, representing a combined group of healthy controls and subjects
with probable Alzheimer's disease (AD). The Alzheimer's Disease Evaluation of Radiotracers software package
(ADER): 1) reads the reconstructed images, 2) registers, in 3D, the subjectfs brain volume to a beta-amyloid PET
template, 3) overlays the regions defined in the Automated Anatomical Labeled (AAL) template, 4) identifies areas
of white and gray matter, and 5) uses predetermined ROIs from the AAL template to extract regional SUVr values
for the 116 VOIs in the AAL template. These same PET scans were analyzed using a gold-standard rigorous
manual technique in which MRI scans are co-registered to the PET scans for extracting gray matter counts for
SUVr evaluation of amyloid burden.
Results: Compared to the gold-standard analysis, ADER provides similar regional and composite brain SUVr
values. The R-values comparing the two methods exceeded 0.8 in all areas commonly evaluated for disease
onset, with no statistically significant group differences. Individual scan processing time for ADER is 5% that
required for the gold standard.
Conclusions: ADER, a fully automated and objective brain analysis software package: a) decreases processing
time to evaluate beta-amyloid concentrations in human brains, b) potentially permits an objective method for
comparing clinical results across imaging centers, and c) provides a method for testing currently available
radiotracers targeting beta-amyloid and may serve as an adjunct to visual interpretation when these tracers are
incorporated into the clinic.