PET imaging of the dopamine transporter in progressive supranuclear palsy and Parkinson's disease

Ilgin N. , Zubieta J., Reich S., Dannals R., Ravert H., Frost J.

NEUROLOGY, vol.52, no.6, pp.1221-1226, 1999 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 1999
  • Doi Number: 10.1212/wnl.52.6.1221
  • Title of Journal : NEUROLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.1221-1226


Objective: To differentiate the patterns of dopamine transporter loss between idiopathic PD and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Methods: We used the radiotracer [C-11]-WIN 35,428 and PET. Regional striatal dopamine transporter binding was measured in the caudate, anterior putamen, and posterior putamen of six patients with L-dopa-responsive stage 2 PD, six patients with PSP, and six age-comparable healthy controls. Results: in patients with idiopathic PD, the most marked abnormality was observed in the posterior putamen (77% reduction), whereas transporter density in the anterior putamen (60% reduction) and the caudate (44% reduction) was less affected. Unlike the patients with PD, the PSP group showed a relatively uniform degree of involvement in the caudate (40% reduction), anterior putamen (47% reduction), and posterior putamen (51% reduction). When posterior putamen/caudate ratios were calculated, these values were significantly lower in patients with PD than they were in patients with PSP (p = 0.0008) and the control group (p < 0.0001). Conclusions: Patients with PD have a more pronounced loss of dopamine transporters in the posterior putamen due to a subdivisional involvement of nigrostriatal dopaminergic projections in idiopathic PD. This technique is useful in the determination of neurochemical changes underlying PD and PSP, thus differentiating between them.