The Role of Functional Dopamine-Transporter SPECT Imaging in Parkinsonian Syndromes, Part 1

T.C. Booth, M. Nathan, A.D. Waldman, A.-M. Quigley, A.H. Schapira, J. Buscombe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


SUMMARY: As we defeat infectious diseases and cancer, one of the greatest medical challenges facing us in the mid-21st century will be the increasing prevalence of degenerative disease. Those diseases, which affect movement and cognition, can be the most debilitating. Dysfunction of the extrapyramidal system results in increasing motor disability often manifest as tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity. The common pathologic pathway of these diseases, collectively described as parkinsonian syndromes, such as Parkinson disease, multiple system atrophy, progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and dementia with Lewy bodies, is degeneration of the presynaptic dopaminergic pathways in the basal ganglia. Conventional MR imaging is insensitive, especially in early disease, so functional imaging has become the primary method used to differentiate a true parkinsonian syndrome from vascular parkinsonism, drug-induced changes, or essential tremor. Unusually for a modern functional imaging technique, the method most widely used in European clinics depends on SPECT and not PET. This SPECT technique (described in the first of 2 parts) commonly reports dopamine-transporter function, with decreasing striatal uptake demonstrating increasingly severe disease. DaTdopamine transporters18Ffluorine 1818F-DOPA6-[18F]fluoro-L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine123Iiodine 123123I-FP-CIT123I-ioflupane (N-ω-fluoropropyl-β CIT)PDidiopathic Parkinson diseaseSWEDDscans without evidence of dopaminergic deficit
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-235
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Neuroradiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015


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