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Neurol Res. 1999 Apr;21(3):255-61.

SPECT measurement of iodine-123-beta-CIT binding to dopamine and serotonin transporters in Parkinson's disease: correlation with symptom severity.

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  • 1Department of Nuclear Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University College of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


Iodine-123-beta-CIT (2 beta-carbomethoxy-3 beta-(4-iodophenyl)tropane) binds with high affinity to dopamine (DA) and serotonin (5-HT) transporters. This study examined the correlation of single-photon emission computed tomographic (SPECT) measures of [123I]beta-CIT binding to DA and 5-HT transporters with symptom severity in Parkinson's disease (PD). Forty-six L-dopa-responsive PD patients (Hoehn-Yahr stage 1-3) had SPECT scans at 20-24 h after injection of [123I]beta-CIT. Specific to nondisplaceable uptake ratios (designated V"3) were calculated in the striatum and hypothalamic/midbrain region, where the binding of [123I]beta-CIT is associated primarily with DA and 5-HT transporters, respectively. Striatal V"3 was significantly correlated with Hoehn-Yahr stage and total, motor and activities of daily living scores of Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). There was a significant correlation between the sum of lateralizing motor UPDRS subscores (tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia) calculated for each side of limbs and V"3 values in the contralateral striatum. No significant correlation was found between striatal V"3 and UPDRS rating of mentation, behavior, and mood. Hypothalamic/midbrain V"3 was not significantly correlated with either Hoehn-Yahr stage or UPDRS scores including both motor and nonmotor measures. The significant correlation of SPECT measures of striatal [123I]beta-CIT binding with motor severity suggests that [123I]beta-CIT binding to striatal DA transporters can serve as an in vivo indicator of disease severity in PD, with potential utility in the serial monitoring of disease progression.

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