In vivo imaging of amyloid burden with positron emission tomography (PET) provides a means for studying the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's and related diseases. Measurement of subtle changes in amyloid burden requires quantitative analysis of image data. Reliable quantitative analysis of amyloid PET scans acquired at multiple sites and over time requires rigorous standardization of acquisition protocols, subject management, tracer administration, image quality control, and image processing and analysis methods. We review critical points in the acquisition and analysis of amyloid PET, identify ways in which technical factors can contribute to measurement variability, and suggest methods for mitigating these sources of noise. Improved quantitative accuracy could reduce the sample size necessary to detect intervention effects when amyloid PET is used as a treatment end point and allow more reliable interpretation of change in amyloid burden and its relationship to clinical course.
Schmidt, M. E., Chiao, P., Klein, G., Matthews, D., Thurfjell, L., Cole, P. E., … Jagust, W. (2015). The influence of biological and technical factors on quantitative analysis of amyloid PET: Points to consider and recommendations for controlling variability in longitudinal data. Alzheimer’s and Dementia, 11(9), 1050–1068. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2014.09.004