Clinical Value of Perfusion Abnormalities of Brain on Technetium-99m HMPAO Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography in Children With Sydenham Chorea

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We evaluated whether perfusion brain abnormalities by single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging improves diagnostic and prognostic assessment in Sydenham chorea. Twenty-three children with acute autoimmune chorea underwent technetium-99m hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime brain SPECT imaging. In 16 children, SPECT was repeated during the follow-up. A pattern of basal ganglia hyperperfusion was observed in 20 (87%) patients. In 4 of 10 patients with generalized chorea, perfusion was comparable in right and left striatum and right and left thalamus. In 13 patients with hemi-chorea and in 3 with generalized chorea, unilateral hyperperfusion was detected. Three patients with generalized chorea had normal perfusion. Tracer uptake of basal ganglia of the patients at the acute phase was higher than at the follow-up (P < .001). SPECT seems a useful noninvasive tool in pediatric patients with Sydenham chorea to support the clinicians during the acute phase of disease and to monitor the course of autoimmune chorea.

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