18F-Flortaucipir PET Associations with Cerebrospinal Fluid, Cognition, and Neuroimaging in Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer's Disease

Maureen Okafor, Jonathon A. Nye, Mahsa Shokouhi, Leslie M. Shaw, Felicia Goldstein, Ihab Hajjar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Tau positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is used in research, but its relation to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau and other Alzheimer's disease (AD)-related clinical measures is unclear in mild cognitive impairment with AD biomarkers (MCI-AD). Objective: To determine associations between 18F-flortaucipir PET and CSF AD biomarkers, cognitive functioning, and neuroimaging measures in MCI-AD. Methods: In 29 participants 50 years or older with MCI-AD, 18F-flortaucipir PET, CSF total tau (T-tau), phosphorylated tau181p (P-tau), amyloid-β (Aβ), structural MRI, and neuropsychological testing were collected as baseline assessments of an ongoing clinical trial. 11C-Pittsburgh compound B PET was simultaneously conducted in 20 participants. Associations between 18F-flortaucipir PET and these measures were assessed by multiple linear regression adjusted for potential confounders and using global, lobar, and voxel-wise standardized uptake value ratio (SUVr). Results: Whole brain 18F-flortaucipir SUVr was significantly associated with CSF T-tau (r = 0.68, p < 0.001) and P-tau (r = 0.42, p = 0.04) after adjusting for age, sex, race, and education, with strongest associations in the temporal region (T-tau: r = 0.69, p < 0.001; P-tau: r = 0.49, p = 0.02). Voxel-wise analysis confirmed these regional associations. 18F-flortaucipir PET was also associated with CSF Aβ (r = -0.45, p = 0.03), episodic memory (r = -0.61, p = 0.001), visuospatial working memory (r = -0.46, p = 0.02), and brain cortical thickness (r = -0.44, p = 0.03) but not hippocampal volume. In the amyloid PET subset, although 11C-PiB PET associated strongly with 18F-flortaucipir (r = 0.79, p≤0.001), associations were stronger between 11C-PiB and key outcomes, compared to 18F-flortaucipir. Conclusion: 18F-flortaucipir PET is moderately associated with CSF AD biomarkers and other AD-related phenotypes. The associations in this MCI-AD sample are stronger than previously described in other populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-601
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers
  • cognitive function
  • cortical thickness
  • flortaucipir
  • mild cognitive impairment
  • positron emission tomography
  • tau PET

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of '18F-Flortaucipir PET Associations with Cerebrospinal Fluid, Cognition, and Neuroimaging in Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer's Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this