The effect of levodopa therapy on dopamine transporter SPECT imaging with 123I-FP-CIT in patients with Parkinson's disease

Orazio Schillaci, Mariangela Pierantozzi, Luca Filippi, Carlo Manni, Livia Brusa, Roberta Danieli, Giorgio Bernardi, Giovanni Simonetti, Paolo Stanzione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate, by means of 123I-FP-CIT SPECT, the effect of chronic treatment with levodopa on striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) in patients with Parkinson's disease. Methods: Fifteen patients under stable levodopa/carbidopa monotherapy were imaged twice: at baseline on medication and after at least 20 days of treatment wash-out. DAT levels were assessed from SPECT imaging for the entire striatum, the right and left striatum, the right and left putamen and the right and left caudate, as a ratio of regional brain activities using the formula: (striatal region of interest-occipital)/occipital. Results: During levodopa wash-out, despite a worsening in patients' clinical disability (H&Y mean stage 2.53±0.58 versus 1.73±0.45 on therapy, p123I-FP-CIT levels were not significantly different from those at baseline in any of the brain regions examined. Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that levodopa does not affect 123I-FP-CIT brain imaging and confirm that it is not necessary to withdraw this medication to measure DAT levels with SPECT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1452-1456
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


  • I-FP-CIT
  • Dopamine transporter
  • Levodopa
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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