Journal of Nuclear Medicine vol:47 issue:3 pages:384-392
Clinical differential diagnosis in parkinsonism can be difficult especially at early stages. We investigated whether combined perfusion and dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging can aid in the differential diagnosis of parkinsonian disorders: idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD), progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), multiple system atrophy (MSA), dementia with Lewy bodies (LBD), and essential tremor (ET). METHODS: One hundred twenty-nine patients were studied, retrospectively (69 males; 24 MSA, 12 PSP, 8 LBD, 27 ET, and 58 IPD; mean disease duration, 3.5 +/- 3.7 y). Diagnosis was based on established clinical criteria after follow-up of 5.5 +/- 3.8 y in a university specialist movement disorders clinic. Group characterization was done using a categoric voxel-based design and, second, a predefined volume-of-interest approach along Brodmann areas (BA) and subcortical structures, including striatal asymmetry and anteroposterior indices. Stepwise forward discriminant analysis was performed with cross-validation (CV) using the leave-one-out technique. RESULTS: Characteristic patterns for perfusion and DAT were found for all pathologies. In the parkinson-plus group, MSA, PSP, and LBD could be discriminated in 100% (+CV) of the cases. When including IPD, discrimination accuracy was 82.4% (99% without CV). 2beta-Carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane imaging as a single technique was able to discriminate between ET and neurodegenerative forms with an accuracy of 93.0% (+CV); inclusion of perfusion information augmented this slightly to 97.4% (+CV). CONCLUSION: Dual-tracer DAT and perfusion SPECT in combination with discrimination analysis allows an automated, accurate differentiation between the most common forms of parkinsonism in a clinically relevant setting.