PET and SPECT Imaging of Neurotoxicity

  • Erik F. J. de VriesEmail author
  • Rudi A. J. O. Dierckx
  • Didima M. G. de Groot


From conception until death, we are exposed to neurotoxins that can potentially induce toxic encephalopathy. Neurotoxins can cause acute adverse effects or show delayed symptoms. They can even induce impaired brain development in the offspring of exposed pregnant females. Both in patients and in animals, it can be difficult to establish the effects of toxins on the (developing) brain. Functional imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) or single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) could provide useful tools for preclinical testing of (developmental) neurotoxicity of potential toxic substances. These techniques could also aid clinicians in determining the damage that was done to brain functioning by exposure to a neurotoxin, and they may provide insight in the mechanisms that are involved in the intoxication. This book chapter reviews the potential applications of PET and SPECT imaging in (developmental) neurotoxicity testing and evaluation of functional deficits in the brain after exposure to neurotoxins.


Positron Emission Tomography Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Positron Emission Tomography Imaging Fetal Brain Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Imaging 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.









Blood–brain barrier








Magnetic resonance imaging


Positron emission tomography


Single photon emission computed tomography


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik F. J. de Vries
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rudi A. J. O. Dierckx
    • 2
    • 3
  • Didima M. G. de Groot
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular ImagingUniversity Medical Center Groningen, University of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular ImagingUniversity of Groningen, University Medical Center GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Radiology and Nuclear MedicineGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)UtrechtsewegThe Netherlands

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