Visualization of multiple organ amyloid involvement in systemic amyloidosis using 11C-PiB PET imaging

  • Naoki Ezawa
  • Nagaaki KatohEmail author
  • Kazuhiro Oguchi
  • Tsuneaki Yoshinaga
  • Masahide Yazaki
  • Yoshiki Sekijima
Original Article



To investigate the utility of Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) positron emission tomography (PET) imaging for evaluating whole-body amyloid involvement in patients with systemic amyloidosis.


Whole-body 11C-PiB PET was performed in seven patients with systemic immunoglobulin light-chain (AL) amyloidosis, seven patients with hereditary transthyretin (ATTRm) amyloidosis, one asymptomatic TTR mutation carrier and three healthy controls. The correlations between clinical organ involvement, radiological 11C-PiB uptake and histopathological findings were analysed for each organ.


Organ involvement on 11C-PiB PET imaging showed good correlations with the clinical findings for the heart and stomach. Abnormal tracer uptake was also observed in the spleen, lachrymal gland, submandibular gland, sublingual gland, lymph node, brain, scalp, extraocular muscles, nasal mucosa, pharynx, tongue and nuchal muscles, most of which were asymptomatic. Physiological tracer uptake was universally observed in the urinary tract (kidney, renal pelvis, ureter and bladder) and enterohepatic circulatory system (liver, gallbladder, bile duct and small intestine) in all participants. Most of the patients and one healthy control subject showed asymptomatic tracer uptake in the lung and parotid gland. The peripheral nervous system did not show any tracer uptake even in patients with apparent peripheral neuropathy. Histological amyloid deposition was confirmed in biopsied myocardium and gastric mucosa where abnormal 11C-PiB retention was observed.


11C-PiB PET imaging can be used clinically in the systemic evaluation of amyloid distribution in patients with AL and ATTRm amyloidosis. Quantitative analysis of 11C-PiB PET images may be useful in therapy evaluation and will reveal whether amyloid clearance is correlated with clinical response.


Amyloid Pittsburgh compound B PET Amyloid imaging Light-chain amyloidosis Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis 



This study was funded by a Grant-in-aid for Scientific Research (C) (23,591,237 to Y.S.) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, a grant from the Amyloidosis Research Committee, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan, and 2015 Global ASPIRE TTR-FAP Competitive Research Grant Award from Pfizer, Inc.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest


Ethical approval

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 principles of the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medicine (Neurology and Rheumatology)Shinshu University School of MedicineNaganoJapan
  2. 2.Jisenkai Brain Imaging Research CenterMatsumotoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Laboratory SciencesShinshu University School of Health SciencesMatsumotoJapan
  4. 4.Institute for Biomedical SciencesShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan

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