Objective: To compare the respective efficiency of CSF tau (quantitative) and CSF 14-3-3 protein (qualitative) in the diagnosis of prion disease. Methods: We made measurements on 420 live subjects, who subsequently underwent a postmortem neuropathology examination, including protein chemistry, immunohistochemistry, and histology. We performed tau by ELISA. We detected 14-3-3 protein by Western blot. Both assays were optimized for maximum efficiency (accuracy). Results: We found tau and 14-3-3 proteins to be closely correlated, but tau had a significantly better ability to predict disease status than 14-3-3 protein. Also, tau distinguished disease status at least as well as when both assays' results are combined in a variety of ways. Importantly, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for tau (0.82) was significantly larger than that for 14-3-3 protein (0.68) (p <0.001). Diagnostic test statistics are provided for the study subjects with 58.3% prevalence, and for a more typical, nonselected, 7.5% prevalence as received by our center. Conclusion: In this study, tau is superior to 14-3-3 protein as a marker in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt- Jakob disease, and is as efficient singly compared to a variety of combinations with 14-3-3 protein. This is the first study of this magnitude to examine prion disease diagnostic tests in a carefully characterized patient population with detailed statistical evaluation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)