Amyvid imaging is used to detect the presence of amyloid-beta deposits in the brain, indicating Alzheimer’s disease. It is an excellent diagnostic tool for Alzheimer’s disease when used, keeping in mind a patient’s symptoms and age.
Positive results from an Amyvid scan confirms the presence of amyloid beta deposits in the brain.
Using Amyvid (florbetapir) for amyloid imaging is beneficial due to its reliability, sensitivity, and specificity. The test offers 90% accuracy in results from visual and quantitative readings. It has been approved for imaging amyloid plaques in the brain.
- The scan can help doctors to rule out or confirm the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease in the patient.
- It can also help identify other conditions such as posterior cortical atrophy, corticobasal syndrome, as well as other esoteric neurological conditions in patients.
However, Amyvid also has high rates of false positives. Many healthy people can be cognitively normal but still have an amyloid beta in their brains.
- An Amyvid scan can produce false positives in such individuals who don’t actually have Alzheimer’s disease.
- If a cognitively healthy patient tests positive for Amyloid beta, it may not mean much. This is because an Amyvid scan cannot differentiate between conditions such as Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) (another condition that stems from having amyloid beta in the brain) and Alzheimer’s pathology.
- Another drawback is that Amyvid imaging is an expensive procedure. It will be more costly and disheartening to a patient who pays for the scan and yet receives a misdiagnosis. This becomes a concern for practitioners to gain clinical experience to ensure they provide patients with accurate results of the tests.
It is crucial to train healthcare practitioners on better ways of interpreting the results of the scan based on the age of the patient, cognitive profile, and health history.