Diagnostic value of skin RT-QuIC in Parkinson’s disease: a two-laboratory study

Academic Article


  • Skin α-synuclein deposition is considered a potential biomarker for Parkinson’s disease (PD). Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) is a novel, ultrasensitive, and efficient seeding assay that enables the detection of minute amounts of α-synuclein aggregates. We aimed to determine the diagnostic accuracy, reliability, and reproducibility of α-synuclein RT-QuIC assay of skin biopsy for diagnosing PD and to explore its correlation with clinical markers of PD in a two-center inter-laboratory comparison study. Patients with clinically diagnosed PD (n = 34), as well as control subjects (n = 30), underwent skin punch biopsy at multiple sites (neck, lower back, thigh, and lower leg). The skin biopsy samples (198 in total) were divided in half to be analyzed by RT-QuIC assay in two independent laboratories. The α-synuclein RT-QuIC assay of multiple skin biopsies supported the clinical diagnosis of PD with a diagnostic accuracy of 88.9% and showed a high degree of inter-rater agreement between the two laboratories (92.2%). Higher α-synuclein seeding activity in RT-QuIC was shown in patients with longer disease duration and more advanced disease stage and correlated with the presence of REM sleep behavior disorder, cognitive impairment, and constipation. The α-synuclein RT-QuIC assay of minimally invasive skin punch biopsy is a reliable and reproducible biomarker for Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, α-synuclein RT-QuIC seeding activity in the skin may serve as a potential indicator of progression as it correlates with the disease stage and certain non-motor symptoms.
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    Author List

  • Kuzkina A; Bargar C; Schmitt D; Rößle J; Wang W; Schubert AL; Tatsuoka C; Gunzler SA; Zou WQ; Volkmann J
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 1