Test–retest repeatability of [18F]Flortaucipir PET in Alzheimer’s disease and cognitively normal individuals
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The aim of this study was to investigate the test–retest (TRT) repeatability of various parametric quantification methods for [18F]Flortaucipir positron emission tomography (PET). We included eight subjects with dementia or mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease and six cognitively normal subjects. All underwent two 130-min dynamic [18F]Flortaucipir PET scans within 3 ± 1 weeks. Data were analyzed using reference region models receptor parametric mapping (RPM), simplified reference tissue method 2 (SRTM2) and reference logan (RLogan), as well as standardized uptake value ratios (SUVr, time intervals 40–60, 80–100 and 110–130 min post-injection) with cerebellar gray matter as reference region. We obtained distribution volume ratio or SUVr, first for all brain regions and then in three tau-specific regions-of-interest (ROIs). TRT repeatability (%) was defined as |retest–test|/(average (test + retest)) × 100. For all methods and across ROIs, TRT repeatability ranged from (median (IQR)) 0.84% (0.68–2.15) to 6.84% (2.99–11.50). TRT repeatability was good for all reference methods used, although semi-quantitative models (i.e. SUVr) performed marginally worse than quantitative models, for instance TRT repeatability of RPM: 1.98% (0.78–3.58) vs. SUVr80–100: 3.05% (1.28–5.52), p < 0.001. Furthermore, for SUVr80–100 and SUVr110–130, with higher average SUVr, more variation was observed. In conclusion, while TRT repeatability was good for all models used, quantitative methods performed slightly better than semi-quantitative methods.