Background: In vivo, high cerebral amyloid-β load has been associated with (i) reduced concentrations of Aβ42 in cerebrospinal fluid and (ii) increased retention using amyloid-β positron emission tomography. Although these two amyloid-β biomarkers generally show good correspondence, ~ 10-20% of cases have discordant results. To assess the consequences of having discordant amyloid-β PET and CSF biomarkers on clinical features, biomarkers, and longitudinal cognitive trajectories. Methods: We included 768 patients (194 with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), 127 mild cognitive impairment (MCI), 309 Alzheimer's dementia (AD), and 138 non-AD) who were categorized as concordant-negative (n = 315, 41%), discordant (n = 97, 13%), or concordant-positive (n = 356, 46%) based on CSF and PET results. We compared discordant with both concordant-negative and concordant-positive groups on demographics, clinical syndrome, apolipoprotein E (APOE) ϵ4 status, CSF tau, and clinical and neuropsychological progression. Results: We found an increase from concordant-negative to discordant to concordant-positive in rates of APOE ϵ4 (28%, 55%, 70%, Z = - 10.6, P < 0.001), CSF total tau (25%, 45%, 78%, Z = - 13.7, P < 0.001), and phosphorylated tau (28%, 43%, 80%, Z = - 13.7, P < 0.001) positivity. In patients without dementia, linear mixed models showed that Mini-Mental State Examination and memory composite scores did not differ between concordant-negative (β [SE] - 0.13[0.08], P = 0.09) and discordant (β 0.08[0.15], P = 0.15) patients (P interaction = 0.19), while these scores declined in concordant-positive (β - 0.75[0.08] patients (P interaction < 0.001). In patients with dementia, longitudinal cognitive scores were not affected by amyloid-β biomarker concordance or discordance. Clinical progression rates from SCD to MCI or dementia (P = 0.01) and from MCI to dementia (P = 0.003) increased from concordant-negative to discordant to concordant-positive. Conclusions: Discordant cases were intermediate to concordant-negative and concordant-positive patients in terms of genetic (APOE ϵ4) and CSF (tau) markers of AD. While biomarker agreement did not impact cognition in patients with dementia, discordant biomarkers are not benign in patients without dementia given their higher risk of clinical progression.
Original languageEnglish
Article number78
JournalAlzheimer's Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2019

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