Amyloid PET Scan Useful in Memory Evaluation Interview with:
Arno de Wilde, MD / PhD candidate

Department of Neurology & Alzheimer Center
Amsterdam Neuroscience
VU University Medical Center
Amsterdam, the Netherlands What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies assessing the clinical utility of amyloid imaging used very selected research populations, limiting the translatability to clinical practice. In contrast, we used an unselected memory clinic cohort, offering amyloid PET to ALL patients visiting our memory clinic, and for the purpose of this study, we implemented amyloid PET in our routine diagnostic work-up. Our results demonstrate that amyloid PET has important consequences, in terms of diagnosis and treatment changes, for a significant number of patients within a situation that closely resembles clinical practice. I think that these results are an important step in ‘bridging the gap’ between using amyloid PET in a research setting versus daily clinical practice. What should readers take away from your report?

 Response: I think that our results demonstrate that amyloid PET can be a very useful tool in daily clinical practice. In addition, we show preliminary evidence that disclosing a results in actual practice doesn’t seem to be harmful to patients. Clinicians could use these results to support their clinical use of amyloid PET. However, and of equal importance, our results also show that not all patients visiting a memory clinic benefit from amyloid PET. Within that context, I think it is very important for clinicians to select patients for an amyloid PET where chance of having a clinical impact is the greatest. For this purpose, to guide clinicians in their use of amyloid imaging, appropriate use criteria have been formulated. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: I’m also very excited about our current project, where we are trying to identify patient characteristics that are associated with a change of diagnosis or change of treatment. Within the context of a more personalized approach, we are working on an algorithm for use in clinical practice that selects those patients that benefit most from amyloid imaging.


de Wilde A, van der Flier WM, Pelkmans W, et al. Association of Amyloid Positron Emission Tomography With Changes in Diagnosis and Patient Treatment in an Unselected Memory Clinic CohortThe ABIDE ProjectJAMA Neurol. Published online June 11, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.1346

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Last Updated on June 12, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD