18F-FP-CIT PET imaging and SPM analysis of dopamine transporters in Parkinson's disease in various Hoehn & Yahr stages

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To investigate the usefulness of 18F-FP-CIT PET for assessing the severity of Parkinson's disease (PD) at various clinical stages, 41 patients with PD were divided into early (Hoehn&Yahr I-II, n = 23) and advanced (Hoehn&Yahr III-IV, n = 18) subgroups. 18F-FP-CIT PET was performed in these patients and 12 normal subjects. 18F-FP-CIT uptake in striatal subregions and its correlation with UPDRS were first evaluated by ROI analysis, and between-group differences were also analyzed by Statistical Parametric Mapping (SPM). Our results showed that striatal 18F-FP-CIT binding were significantly reduced to 70.9% (caudate), 46.8% (anterior putamen) and 24.0% (posterior putamen) in early PD compared with that of the control, and to 52.0%, 34.5% and 16.5% correspondingly in advanced PD, respectively. There was significant negative correlation between total motor UPDRS score of all parkinsonian patients and 18F-FP-CIT uptake in caudate nucleus (r = -0.53, p < 0.001), anterior putamen (r = -0.53, p < 0.001) and posterior putamen (r = -0.61, p < 0.001). SPM comparison of 18F-FP-CIT uptake between early or advanced PD and the control group showed significant decline in striatum, predominantly localized on the contralateral side and in the dorsal-posterior putamen. These results indicate that 18F-FP-CIT PET can serve as a suitable biomarker to represent the severity of PD in early and advanced stages.

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