The value of semi-quantitative analysis of 123I-FP-CIT SPECT in evaluating patients with parkinson's disease

L. Filippi, Chiara Bruni, F. Padovano, O. Schillaci, G. Simonetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


123I-FP-CIT SPECT binding to striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) is markedly reduced in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and it may also help in identifyng pre-symptomatic nigrostriatal dysfunction in subjects at risk. This study used semi-quantitative analysis of 123I-FP-CIT SPECT to evaluate the possibility of a more extensive and earlier diagnosis of dopaminergic damage. We used qualitative visual assessment and semi-quantitative measures of striatal DAT binding using 123I-FP-CIT SPECT in 154 patients with suspected PD. A control group comprised 18 people age-matched to the PD group whose follow-up disclosed essential tremor. Abnormal striatal 123I-FP-CIT uptake was evident in 134 out of 154 patients (87%). Qualitative visual assessment showed striatal dopaminergic 123I-FP-CIT uptake was significantly reduced in 60.4% (controlateral putamen to the symptoms), in 31.3% (caudate nucleus) and in 8.3% (ipsolateral basal ganglia to the symptoms). Semi-quantitative analysis showed the following results: 32.8%, 50.7% and 16.5% respectively. We compared these two assessments and their correlation with PD clinical progression. At 24 month follow-up, patients with greater dopaminergic damage at semiquantitative analysis showed a more severe motor disability. Our findings indicate that 123-FP-CIT SPECT with semiquantitative analysis can offer a more accurate characterization of the dopaminergic damage in patients with suspected Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-509
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroradiology Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Dopamine transporter
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Semiquantitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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