A comparison of Aβ amyloid pathology staging systems and correlation with clinical diagnosis

Susana Boluda, Jon B. Toledo, David J. Irwin, Kevin M. Raible, Matt D. Byrne, Edward B. Lee, Virginia M.Y. Lee, John Q. Trojanowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Current neuropathological Alzheimer’s disease (AD) criteria from the National Institute on Aging-Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) incorporate two staging systems for Aβ pathology, namely the Thal Aβ phase (TAP) and the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) methods. The goal of this study was to compare and contrast results obtained with these two different staging systems for Aβ pathology since this is critical for future correlations of Aβ amyloid imaging data with Aβ neuropathology data based on immunohistochemical detection of Aβ deposits. A total of 123 cases, divided into 82 training and 41 validation cases, with a diagnosis of either unremarkable adult brain (normal) or AD and CERAD scores ranging from none to frequent were included. There was no clear and consistent relationship between CERAD and the TAP Aβ scores with the exception of scores for the highest plaque burdens (i.e., CERAD C3 and TAP A3) in the cases studied here. However, we developed an algorithm that relates CERAD scores to TAP scores with high agreement (94 % in training and 98 % in the validation set). In addition, TAP scores were a better predictor of dementia (sensitivity of 94 % specificity 87.7 %) than CERAD scores (sensitivity of 57 % specificity 100 %). Yet, further research is needed to define strategies to relate CERAD and TAP Aβ plaque scores to compare their utility and for determining the clinical associations of these different amyloid staging systems with aging and AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-550
Number of pages8
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2014


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Aβ pathology
  • Thal phases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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