Molecular Diagnosis & Therapy

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 475–483 | Cite as

Visual Rating and Computer-Assisted Analysis of FDG PET in the Prediction of Conversion to Alzheimer’s Disease in Mild Cognitive Impairment

  • Jae Myeong Kang
  • Jun-Young LeeEmail author
  • Yu Kyeong KimEmail author
  • Bo Kyung Sohn
  • Min Soo Byun
  • Ji Eun Choi
  • Soo Kyung Son
  • Hyung-Jun Im
  • Jae-Hoon Lee
  • Young Hoon Ryu
  • Dong Young Lee
Original Research Article



Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is useful to predict Alzheimer’s disease (AD) conversion in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, few studies have examined the extent to which FDG PET alone can predict AD conversion and compared the efficacy between visual and computer-assisted analysis directly.


The current study aimed to evaluate the value of FDG PET in predicting the conversion to AD in patients with MCI and to compare the predictive values of visual reading and computer-assisted analysis.

Methods and materials

A total of 54 patients with MCI were evaluated with FDG PET and followed-up for 2 years with final diagnostic evaluation. FDG PET images were evaluated by (1) traditional visual rating, (2) composite score of visual rating of the brain cortices, and (3) composite score of computer-assisted analysis. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were compared to analyze predictive values.


Nineteen patients (35.2%) converted to AD from MCI. The area under the curve (AUC) of the ROC curve of the traditional visual rating, composite score of visual rating, and computer-assisted analysis were 0.67, 0.76, and 0.79, respectively. ROC curves of the composite scores of the visual rating and computer-assisted analysis were comparable (Z = 0.463, p = 0.643).


Visual rating and computer-assisted analysis of FDG PET scans were analogously accurate in predicting AD conversion in patients with MCI. Therefore, FDG PET may be a useful tool for screening AD conversion in patients with MCI, when using composite score, regardless of the method of interpretation.


Author contributions

JMK, JYL, YKK, and DYL designed the study. JYL, BKS, MSB, and DYL acquired the data, and JMK, JYL, JEC, SKS, HJI, JHL, and YHR analyzed and interpreted the results of experiments. JMK wrote the main manuscript and prepared figures. JMK, JYL, BKS, and YKK edited and revised the manuscript. All authors reviewed and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

All authors (JMK, JYL, YKK, BKS, MSB, JEC, SKS, HJI, JHL, YHR, and DYL) declare that they have no conflict of interest.


This study was supported by the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency (NECA-C-13-010) and by a grant from Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning (grant no. NRF-2014M3C7A1046042). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Ethics statement

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Written informed consents were obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

40291_2018_334_MOESM1_ESM.docx (450 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 449 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Gil Medical CenterGachon University College of MedicineIncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatrySeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral ScienceSMG-SNU Boramae Medical CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Department of Nuclear MedicineSMG-SNU Boramae Medical CenterSeoulRepublic of Korea
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry, Sanggye Paik HospitalInje University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  6. 6.Institute of Human Behavioral Medicine, Medical Research CenterSeoul National UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea
  7. 7.Division for Healthcare Technology Assessment ResearchNational Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating AgencySeoulRepublic of Korea
  8. 8.Department of Nuclear MedicineSeoul National University College of MedicineSeoulRepublic of Korea
  9. 9.Department of Nuclear Medicine, Yonsei University College of MedicineGangnam Severance HospitalSeoulRepublic of Korea

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