Cerebrospinal fluid clearance in Alzheimer disease measured with dynamic PET Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Positron-Emission Tomography


  • Copyright © 2017 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. Evidence supporting the hypothesis that reduced cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) clearance is involved in the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease (AD) comes primarily from rodent models. However, unlike rodents, in which predominant extracranial CSF egress is via olfactory nerves traversing the cribriform plate, human CSF clearance pathways are not well characterized. Dynamic PET with 18F-THK5117, a tracer for tau pathology, was used to estimate the ventricular CSF time-activity as a biomarker for CSF clearance. We tested 3 hypotheses: extracranial CSF is detected at the superior turbinates; CSF clearance is reduced in AD; and CSF clearance is inversely associated with amyloid deposition. Methods: Fifteen subjects, 8 with AD and 7 normal control volunteers, were examined with 18F-THK5117. Ten subjects additionally underwent 11C-Pittsburgh compound B (11C-PiB) PET scanning, and 8 were 11C-PiB-positive. Ventricular time-activity curves of 18F-THK5117 were used to identify highly correlated time-activity curves from extracranial voxels. Results: For all subjects, the greatest density of CSF-positive extracranial voxels was in the nasal turbinates. Tracer concentration analyses validated the superior nasal turbinate CSF signal intensity. AD patients showed ventricular tracer clearance reduced by 23% and 66% fewer superior turbinate CSF egress sites. Ventricular CSF clearance was inversely associated with amyloid deposition. Conclusion: The human nasal turbinate is part of the CSF clearance system. Lateral ventricle and superior nasal turbinate CSF clearance abnormalities are found in AD. Ventricular CSF clearance reductions are associated with increased brain amyloid depositions. These data suggest that PET-measured CSF clearance is a biomarker of potential interest in AD and other neurodegenerative diseases.

publication date

  • September 2017



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC5577629

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2967/jnumed.116.187211

PubMed ID

  • 28302766

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1471

end page

  • 1476


  • 58


  • 9