Journal of Neural Transmission

, Volume 105, Issue 10, pp 1213–1228

[123I]β-CIT and SPECT in essential tremor and Parkinson's disease


  • S. Asenbaum
    • Department of Neurology and
  • W. Pirker
    • Department of Neurology and
  • P. Angelberger
    • Forschungszentrum Seibersdorf, Seibersdorf, Austria
  • G. Bencsits
    • Department of Neurology and
  • M. Pruckmayer
    • Department of Nuclear Medicine, University of Vienna, Vienna, and
  • T. Brücke
    • Department of Neurology and

DOI: 10.1007/s007020050124

Cite this article as:
Asenbaum, S., Pirker, W., Angelberger, P. et al. J Neural Transm (1998) 105: 1213. doi:10.1007/s007020050124


Resting and postural tremor may occur in essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson's disease (PD). The aim of the present study was to investigate the cocaine derivative [123I]β-CIT, which labels striatal dopamine transporters, and SPECT in differentiating these diseases.

Methods: 30 healthy volunteers, 32 patients with ET and 29 patients with idiopathic PD of Hoehn/Yahr stage I were investigated. Specific over nondisplaceable binding ratios (target/cerebellum-1) were calculated for the striatum, the caudate nucleus and the putamen separately as well as a ratio putamen/caudate and the percent deviation of each patient's ratio from age-expected control values.

Results: Striatal [123I]β-CIT binding ratios in ET were within normal ranges and showed only a discrete elevation to age-expected control values (+14.6%). In PD significantly reduced specific binding was evident not only contralaterally to the clinically affected side (putamen: −62%, caudate nucleus: −35%), but also ipsilaterally (putamen: −45%, caudate nucleus: −22%). All investigated parameters differed significantly between PD and controls and ET respectively.

Conclusion: Imaging striatal dopamine transporters with [123I]β-CIT and SPECT could clearly distinguish between ET and PD in an early stage of the disease. Findings do not suggest a subclinical involvement of dopaminergic nigrostriatal neurons in ET.

Keywords: [123I]β-CITSPECTessential tremorParkinson's disease.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 1998