Presentation of regional cerebral blood flow in amphetamine abusers by 99cm-HMPAO brain SPECT

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The aim of this study was to describe the effectiveness of 99Tcm-hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime (99Tcm-HMPAO) brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in the assessment of the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in amphetamine abusers. Twenty-one amphetamine abusers were included and 99Tcm-HMPAO brain SPECT performed to evaluate rCBF. The drug-using periods ranged from 1 month to several years. The demonstrated neuropsychogenic symptoms and signs of the abusers were from normal presentation to various neurologic complications. The brain SPECT scans were interpreted visually as either normal or abnormal. The degree of abnormality was classified into mild or severe. The results revealed that (a) most SPECT studies in abusers show small defects (95%, 20/21 cases); 71% (15/21) of cases revealed multiple defects over both hemispheres (classified as severe); 24% (5/21) of the cases had focal defects (classified as mild); and only one case (5%, 1/21) demonstrated a normal SPECT finding; (b) the degree of abnormality on SPECT scans was not related to the dose and duration of drug use or the severity of the neuropsychiatric symptoms and signs. In conclusion, 99Tcm-HMPAO brain SPECT is a sensitive but not specifie test for neuropsychogenic abnormalities associated with amphetamine abuse.

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