HomeHealth Topics A to ZWhat is a PET Amyvid™ Scan?
Health Topics

What is a PET Amyvid™ Scan?

By DuPage Medical Group Radiology

Thanks to a diagnostic imaging technique, physicians are now able to evaluate patients with memory loss and confusion for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Amyvid™ (F18 Florbetapir) is a tracer injection used with a PET scanner to detect amyloid plaques present in the brain.

Amyvid™ highlights beta-amyloid plaques that may be present in the brain using a tracer (radioactive fluorine) that is detected during a positron emission tomography (PET) scan. The Amyvid™ scan will be reviewed to determine whether significant beta-amyloid plaques are present. Your doctor will consider your Amyvid scan results along with those from other tests to determine whether Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is possible or if something else is causing your symptoms.

How does it work?

Amyvid™ is used in adults with thinking or memory problems who are being assessed for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) or other causes of these symptoms. Amyvid™ is used by doctors in combination with other tests. Amyvid™ is used with a positron emission tomography (PET) scanner to show whether high levels of plaques, which are a buildup of a protein called beta-amyloid, are in the brain.
A negative Amyvid™ scan means that there are few to no plaques in the brain and makes it unlikely that Alzheimer’s Disease is the cause of symptoms at the time of the scan.

A positive Amyvid™ scan means that the amount of plaque in the brain is similar to the amount seen in people with AD. This amount of plaque may also be seen in people with other conditions of the brain that cause thinking or memory problems, as well as in older people with normal thinking and memory.

Are there side effects to a PET Amyvid™ Scan?

The side effects, although unlikely, are headache, muscle or joint pain, increased blood pressure, nausea, tiredness and injection site reaction (bleeding, irritation, or pain where Amyvid™ is injected).

Can Amyvid diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)?

A positive Amyvid™ scan does not diagnose Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) or other thinking or memory disorders. Amyvid™ is not approved to predict the development of dementia or other brain conditions in the future or for monitoring the effectiveness of treatments.

Topics and Subtopics: Diagnostic Testing, Radiology & Senior's Health

Physicians & Experts

Learn more about:
Radiology PET/CT
Receive more health tips and DMG news right in your inbox!
Sign up for the Live Life Well newsletter