The FDA in April approved the radioactive diagnostic agent florbetapir, name brand Amyvid, for use with PET imaging for the evaluation of Alzheimer’s disease.
As the first FDA-approved agent for brain imaging of amyloid plaques in patients with cognitive impairment who are being evaluated for Alzheimer’s and other causes, Amyvid binds to amyloid plaques, considered a key player in Alzheimer’s disease, and is detected in PET scans.
A scan showing few or no amyloid plaques would mean a reduced likelihood the impairment is due to Alzheimer’s and can help rule out the disease. A positive scan showing moderate to frequent amyloid plaques is present in people with Alzheimer’s, as well as patient with other neurologic conditions and normal aging.
Last year, the FDA expressed concerns about radiologists’ ability to consistently read the scans, so Amyvid developer Ely Lilly developed a reader training program.
As the number of sites using Amyvid continues to grow, Diagnostic Imaging visited Precision Imaging in Rockville, Md., which has been using the agent for a few years as part of clinical trials.
In this video, Roberto Soto, MD, founder and medical officer of Precision Imaging, discusses the reimbursement challenges, the training provided, and the utility of the new imaging test.