Toward a Universal Readout for 18F-Labeled Amyloid Tracers: The CAPTAINs Study: The CAPTAINs Study

G. rard N. Bischof, Peter Bartenstein, Henryk Barthel, Bart van Berckel, Vincent Doré, Thilo van Eimeren, Norman Foster, Jochen Hammes, Adriaan A. Lammertsma, Satoshi Minoshima, Chris Rowe, Osama Sabri, John Seibyl, Koen van Laere, Rik Vandenberghe, Victor Villemagne, Igor Yakushev, Alexander Drzezga

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To date, 3 18F-labeled PET tracers have been approved for assessing cerebral amyloid plaque pathology in the diagnostic workup of suspected Alzheimer disease (AD). Although scanning protocols are relatively similar across tracers, U.S. Food and Drug Administration- and the European Medicines Agency-approved visual rating protocols differ among the 3 tracers. This proof-of-concept study assessed the comparability of the 3 approved visual rating protocols to classify a scan as amyloid-positive or -negative, when applied by groups of experts and nonexperts to all 3 amyloid tracers. Methods: In an international multicenter approach, both expert (n = 4) and nonexpert raters (n = 3) rated scans acquired with 18F-florbetaben, 18F-florbetapir and 18F-flutemetamol. Scans obtained with each tracer were presented for reading according to all 3 approved visual rating protocols. In a randomized order, every single scan was rated by each reader according to all 3 protocols. Raters were blinded for the amyloid tracer used and asked to rate each scan as positive or negative, giving a confidence judgment after each response. Percentage of visual reader agreement, interrater reliability, and agreement of each visual read with binary quantitative measures (fixed SUV ratio threshold for positive or negative scans) were computed. These metrics were analyzed separately for expert and nonexpert groups. Results: No significant differences in using the different approved visual rating protocols were observed across the different metrics of agreement in the group of experts. Nominal differences suggested that the 18F-florbetaben visual rating protocol achieved the highest interrater reliability and accuracy especially under low confidence conditions. For the group of nonexpert raters, significant differences between the different visual rating protocols were observed with overall moderate-to-fair accuracy and with the highest reliability for the 18F-florbetapir visual rating protocol. Conclusion: We observed high interrater agreement despite applying different visual rating protocols for all 18F-labeled amyloid tracers. This implies that the results of the visual interpretation of amyloid imaging can be well standardized and do not depend on the rating protocol in experts. Consequently, the creation of a universal visual assessment protocol for all amyloid imaging tracers appears feasible, which could benefit especially the less-experienced readers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1005
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number7
Early online date12 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021

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