Publications & Posters

Comparison of ELISA- and SIMOA-based quantification of plasma Aβ ratios for early detection of cerebral amyloidosis

De Meyer S, Schaeverbeke JM, Verberk IMW, Gille B, De Schaepdryver M, Luckett ES, Gabel S, Bruffaerts R, Mauroo K, Thijssen EH, Stoops E, Vanderstichele HM, Teunissen CE, Vandenberghe R and Poesen K

Alzheimers Res Ther. 2020;12:162.

DOI: 10.1186/s13195-020-00728-w



Blood-based amyloid biomarkers may provide a non-invasive, cost-effective and scalable manner for detecting cerebral amyloidosis in early disease stages.


In this prospective cross-sectional study, we quantified plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 ratios with both routinely available ELISAs and novel SIMOA Amyblood assays, and provided a head-to-head comparison of their performances to detect cerebral amyloidosis in a nondemented elderly cohort (n = 199). Participants were stratified according to amyloid-PET status, and the performance of plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 to detect cerebral amyloidosis was assessed using receiver operating characteristic analysis. We additionally investigated the correlations of plasma Aβ ratios with amyloid-PET and CSF Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers, as well as platform agreement using Passing-Bablok regression and Bland-Altman analysis for both Aβ isoforms.


ELISA and SIMOA plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 detected cerebral amyloidosis with identical accuracy (ELISA: area under curve (AUC) 0.78, 95% CI 0.72–0.84; SIMOA: AUC 0.79, 95% CI 0.73–0.85), and both increased the performance of a basic demographic model including only age and APOE-ε4 genotype (p ≤ 0.02). ELISA and SIMOA had positive predictive values of respectively 41% and 36% in cognitively normal elderly and negative predictive values all exceeding 88%. Plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40 correlated similarly with amyloid-PET for both platforms (Spearman ρ = − 0.32, p <  0.0001), yet correlations with CSF Aβ1–42/t-tau were stronger for ELISA (ρ = 0.41, p = 0.002) than for SIMOA (ρ = 0.29, p = 0.03). Plasma Aβ levels demonstrated poor agreement between ELISA and SIMOA with concentrations of both Aβ1–42 and Aβ1–40 measured by SIMOA consistently underestimating those measured by ELISA.


ELISA and SIMOA demonstrated equivalent performances in detecting cerebral amyloidosis through plasma Aβ1–42/Aβ1–40, both with high negative predictive values, making them equally suitable non-invasive prescreening tools for clinical trials by reducing the number of necessary PET scans for clinical trial recruitment.