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Pediatr Diabetes. 2002 Sep;3(3):155-62.

Single photon emission tomography (SPECT) study of regional cerebral blood flow in normoalbuminuric children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


Cerebral damage in diabetes can be related to chronic hyperglycemia and recurrent severe hypoglycemia as well as due to the associated vasculopathy. The pattern of regional cerebral blood flow using cerebral single photon emission tomography (SPECT) was evaluated in normoalbuminuric type 1 diabetic children and adolescents and its relation to the metabolic control and cognitive functions. Thirty-one type 1 diabetics aged 10-18 yr (mean 14.7 +/- 3.4) were included, 16 males and 15 females, divided into four groups: group I (n = 8) with history of recurrent severe hypoglycemia (> or = 3); group II (n = 8) with history of severe diabetic ketoacidosis (> or = 3); group III (n = 7) with recurrent minor hypoglycemia (> or = 3/week); and group IV (n = 8) with controlled diabetes. The control group (V) comprised seven healthy children, aged 10-18 yr (mean 14.2 +/- 3.1). SPECT was done using technetium-99m hexamethyl propylene amine oxime. There was significant brain hypoperfusion in diabetics compared with controls, mainly in the basal ganglia (p < 0.01) and frontal regions (p < 0.01), with less changes in parietal and temporal regions. These changes were not related to the age, sex, diabetes duration, mean blood glucose or HbA1C. Basal ganglia hypoperfusion was significant in groups I (p < 0.01) and II (p < 0.01) compared with controlled diabetics. There was no correlation between cerebral SPECT changes and cognitive scores in type 1 diabetics.


Subclinical alterations in cerebral blood flow (hypoperfusion) are present in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes mainly affecting the basal ganglia and frontal regions, usually not associated with measurable alterations of the cognitive functions

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