Brain amyloid- positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is highly sensitive for identifying Alzheimer disease. Currently, there is a lack of insight on the association between amyloid-PET status and the widely used Montreal cognitive assessment (MoCA). Studying this relationship may optimize the clinical use of amyloid-PET imaging.
To evaluate the relationship between amyloid-PET status and MoCA scores and to identify a MoCA score cutoff that translates to amyloid-PET positivity.
Using retrospective chart review, patients from 2010 to 2017 with amyloid-PET scans (positive or negative) and MoCA test scores were included. We studied the relationship between amyloid-PET status and MoCA scores and the influence of age, sex, education, and race. A MoCA score cutoff for amyloid-PET positivity was estimated.
Among the 684 clinic patients with dementia, 99 fulfilled inclusion criteria. Amyloid-PET positivity was associated significantly with lower MoCA scores (median=19, U=847, P=0.01). The MoCA score cutoff (25) used for minimal cognitive impairment (MCI) predicted amyloid-PET positivity suboptimally (sensitivity=94.6%, specificity=13.9%). A MoCA score cutoff of 20 patients had optimal sensitivity (64.2%) and specificity (67.4%).
Amyloid-PET positivity is associated with lower MoCA scores. Clinical utility of amyloid-PET scan is likely to be suboptimal at the MoCA score cutoff for minimal cognitive impairment.
Alzheimer Disease Center, Quincy, MA
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Reprints: Srinath Ramaswamy, MD, 54 Miller Street FL4, Quincy, MA 02169 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Received August 28, 2018
Accepted May 17, 2019