Date: 03 Apr 2004

Dopamine transporter SPECT using fast kinetic ligands: 123I-FP-β-CIT versus 99mTc-TRODAT-1

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A comparative study was carried out on two promising presynaptic dopamine transporter single-photon emission tomography (SPECT) radioligands with a fast pharmacokinetic profile, 123I-FP-β-CIT (FP) and 99mTc-TRODAT-1 (TR), in order to assess their differential diagnostic power in early parkinsonism and their sensitivity for detection of disease progression. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 96 patients with early-stage parkinsonism referred in a tertiary clinical setting. Mean disease duration was 2.0±1.3 years, and patients had a modified Hoehn and Yahr (H&Y) stage of 1–2 (average 1.2). Forty-seven patients received TR, and 49 received FP. In both groups, ten patients with normal presynaptic function were included as a control population; all other patients were clinically diagnosed as having idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Groups were matched for gender, age, disease duration and modified H&Y stage. Triple-head gamma camera SPECT was analysed using a semiquantitative index of transporter binding (BI). Discriminant analysis with cross-validation resulted in a maximal classification accuracy for FP of 93% (sensitivity 95% and specificity 86%) for the contralateral putamen BI. For TR, the corresponding values were 87% accuracy, 92% sensitivity and 70% specificity. For FP, disease duration was correlated with both the putamen BI (−8.8%/year, ρ=−0.41, P=0.025) and the putamen/caudate ratio (−7.4%/year, ρ=−0.51, P=0.004), but for TR no significant correlation was found (all P values >0.5). In conclusion, both FP and TR show high sensitivity in a clinically relevant setting, but FP has superior accuracy for early differential diagnosis of idiopathic parkinsonism and non-degenerative extrapyramidal disorders, as well as better sensitivity for disease follow-up.