Image-level trajectory inference of tau pathology using variational autoencoder for Flortaucipir PET.

Hong, Jimin; Kang, Seung Kwan; Alberts, Ian; Lu, Jiaying; Sznitman, Raphael; Lee, Jae Sung; Rominger, Axel; Choi, Hongyoon; Shi, Kuangyu (2022). Image-level trajectory inference of tau pathology using variational autoencoder for Flortaucipir PET. (In Press). European journal of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging Springer 10.1007/s00259-021-05662-z

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PURPOSE

Alzheimer's disease (AD) studies revealed that abnormal deposition of tau spreads in a specific spatial pattern, namely Braak stage. However, Braak staging is based on post mortem brains, each of which represents the cross section of the tau trajectory in disease progression, and numerous studies were reported that do not conform to that model. This study thus aimed to identify the tau trajectory and quantify the tau progression in a data-driven approach with the continuous latent space learned by variational autoencoder (VAE).

METHODS

A total of 1080 [18F]Flortaucipir brain positron emission tomography (PET) images were collected from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) database. VAE was built to compress the hidden features from tau images in latent space. Hierarchical agglomerative clustering and minimum spanning tree (MST) were applied to organize the features and calibrate them to the tau progression, thus deriving pseudo-time. The image-level tau trajectory was inferred by continuously sampling across the calibrated latent features. We assessed the pseudo-time with regard to tau standardized uptake value ratio (SUVr) in AD-vulnerable regions, amyloid deposit, glucose metabolism, cognitive scores, and clinical diagnosis.

RESULTS

We identified four clusters that plausibly capture certain stages of AD and organized the clusters in the latent space. The inferred tau trajectory agreed with the Braak staging. According to the derived pseudo-time, tau first deposits in the parahippocampal and amygdala, and then spreads to the fusiform, inferior temporal lobe, and posterior cingulate. Prior to the regional tau deposition, amyloid accumulates first.

CONCLUSION

The spatiotemporal trajectory of tau progression inferred in this study was consistent with Braak staging. The profile of other biomarkers in disease progression agreed well with previous findings. We addressed that this approach additionally has the potential to quantify tau progression as a continuous variable by taking a whole-brain tau image into account.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Clinic of Nuclear Medicine
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - AI in Medical Imaging Laboratory

UniBE Contributor:

Hong, Jimin; Alberts, Ian Leigh; Lu, Jiaying; Sznitman, Raphael; Rominger, Axel Oliver and Shi, Kuangyu

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology

ISSN:

1619-7089

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

01 Mar 2022 10:18

Last Modified:

01 Mar 2022 10:27

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00259-021-05662-z

PubMed ID:

35226120

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Alzheimer’s disease Hierarchical agglomerative clustering Minimum spanning tree (MST) Positron emission tomography (PET) Variational auto-encoder (VAE) [18F]Flortaucipir

BORIS DOI:

10.48350/166209

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/166209

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