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Semin Nucl Med. 1981 Jan;11(1):32-49.

Positron computed tomography studies of cerebral glucose metabolism in man: theory and application in nuclear medicine.


The capability of positron computed tomography (PCT) to delineate the substructures of the brain and its facility for accurately measuring the local tissue radioactivity concentration allow the application of tracer kinetic models for the study of local cerebral function in man. This principle and an adaptation of the 14C-deoxyglucose (DG) model of Sokoloff et al. with 18F-2-fluoro-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG) is being used at UCLA. Brookhaven National Laboratory, University of Pennsylvania, NIH, and the Massachusetts General Hospital to determine the local cerebral glucose metabolic rate (LCMRGIc) in normal man at rest and during sensory activation and the changes that occur in patients with a variety of cerebral disorders. Kinetic studies with PCT have been employed to measure the rate constants of the model in different gray and white matter structures of the brain in both normal and ischemic states. The precision of the method in normals has been shown to be about +/- 5% for 1.5-2.0 sq cm regions of the brain. Studies in normals have yielded values for hemispheric CMRGIc that are in agreement with measurement using the Kety-Schmidt technique and LCMRGIc values in agreement with values in monkeys using DG autoradiography. Studies in volunteers subjected to visual and auditory stimulation are demonstrating the potential of this technique for investigating the human brain's response to different stimuli. STudies in patients with stroke show excellent correlation between the degree, extent, and particular structures involved and the clinical symptoms. The method consistently detected hypometabolism in cortical, thalamic, and striatal tissues that were dysfunctional due to deactivation or damage but which appeared normal on x-ray CT. Studies in patients with partial epilepsy have shown hypometabolic zones that highly correlated anatomically with interictal EEG spike foci and were associated with normal x-ray CT studies in 77% of the patients studied. The studies on epilepsy at UCLA have resulted in the integration of the LCMRGIc study into the clinical workup of patients with partial epilepsy that are candidates for surgical resection of their epileptogenic focus (effective June 1979). Studies on Huntington's chorea, Parkinson's disease, aphasia, dementia, schizophrenia, and tumors are in early stage of investigation but also are providing exciting new results. Further studies are needed to determine the role of the local function information obtained with the PCT-FDG method in elucidating the basic mechanism and the potential to aid in improving the approach to medical therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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