Comparison of ELISA- and SIMOA-based quantification of plasma Aβ ratios for early detection of cerebral amyloidosis

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Background: Blood-based amyloid biomarkers may provide a non-invasive, cost-effective and scalable manner for detecting cerebral amyloidosis in early disease stages. Methods: In this prospective cross-sectional study, we quantified plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 ratios with both routinely available ELISAs and novel SIMOA Amyblood assays, and provided a head-to-head comparison of their performances to detect cerebral amyloidosis in a nondemented elderly cohort (n = 199). Participants were stratified according to amyloid-PET status, and the performance of plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 to detect cerebral amyloidosis was assessed using receiver operating characteristic analysis. We additionally investigated the correlations of plasma Aβ ratios with amyloid-PET and CSF Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, as well as platform agreement using Passing-Bablok regression and Bland-Altman analysis for both Aβ isoforms. Results: ELISA and SIMOA plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 detected cerebral amyloidosis with identical accuracy (ELISA: area under curve (AUC) 0.78, 95% CI 0.72–0.84; SIMOA: AUC 0.79, 95% CI 0.73–0.85), and both increased the performance of a basic demographic model including only age and APOE-ε4 genotype (p ≤ 0.02). ELISA and SIMOA had positive predictive values of respectively 41% and 36% in cognitively normal elderly and negative predictive values all exceeding 88%. Plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 correlated similarly with amyloid-PET for both platforms (Spearman ρ = − 0.32, p < 0.0001), yet correlations with CSF Aβ1–42/t-tau were stronger for ELISA (ρ = 0.41, p = 0.002) than for SIMOA (ρ = 0.29, p = 0.03). Plasma Aβ levels demonstrated poor agreement between ELISA and SIMOA with concentrations of both Aβ1–42 and Aβ1–40 measured by SIMOA consistently underestimating those measured by ELISA. Conclusions: ELISA and SIMOA demonstrated equivalent performances in detecting cerebral amyloidosis through plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40, both with high negative predictive values, making them equally suitable non-invasive prescreening tools for clinical trials by reducing the number of necessary PET scans for clinical trial recruitment. Trial registration: EudraCT 2009-014475-45 (registered on 23 Sept 2009) and EudraCT 2013-004671-12 (registered on 20 May 2014,




De Meyer, S., Schaeverbeke, J. M., Verberk, I. M. W., Gille, B., De Schaepdryver, M., Luckett, E. S., … Poesen, K. (2020). Comparison of ELISA- and SIMOA-based quantification of plasma Aβ ratios for early detection of cerebral amyloidosis. Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy, 12(1).

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