BACKGROUND: Early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) may be corroborated by imaging of beta-amyloid plaques using positron emission tomography (PET). Here, we performed an add-on questionnaire study to evaluate the relevance of florbetaben imaging (BAY 949172) in diagnosis and consecutive management of probable AD patients.
METHODS: AD patients with a clinical diagnosis in accordance with the NINCDS-ADRDA criteria or controls were imaged using florbetaben. Referring physicians were asked on a voluntary basis about their confidence in initial diagnosis, significance of PET imaging results, and their anticipated consequences for future patient care.
RESULTS: 121 questionnaires for probable AD patients and 80 questionnaires for controls were evaluated. In 18% of patients who had initially received the diagnosis of probable AD, PET scans were rated negative, whereas in controls 18% of scans were positive. An increase in confidence in the initial diagnosis was frequently reported (80%). Imaging results had a significant impact on the intended patient care, as judged by the referring physicians; this was most prominent in those patients with a contradicting scan and/or a low confidence in the initial diagnosis.
CONCLUSION: Florbetaben amyloid imaging increases the overall confidence in diagnosis of AD and may frequently influence clinical decisions and patient management.