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Mol Imaging Biol. 2007 May-Jun;9(3):151-7.

Quantitative positron emission tomography studies of the serotonin transporter in humans previously treated with the appetite suppressants fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA. umccann@jhmi.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

The appetite suppressants fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine were widely prescribed before being withdrawn from the market in 1997. Both drugs are known to have the potential to damage brain serotonin (5-HT) axons and axon terminals in animals, including nonhuman primates. This study used quantitative positron emission tomography (PET) with [(11)C] McN5652, a serotonin transporter (SERT) ligand to determine whether humans previously exposed to fenfluramines showed reductions in SERT binding parameters.

PROCEDURES:

Subjects previously treated with fenfluramines for weight loss (N = 15) and age-matched controls (N = 17) underwent PET studies with [(11)C] McN5652. Global and regional distribution volumes (DVs) of [(11)C] McN5652 were compared in the two subject groups using parametric statistical analyses.

RESULTS:

Compared to controls, subjects previously exposed to fenfluramines had significant reductions in [(11)C]McN5652 binding in 14 of 15 regions of interest, more than four years after drug discontinuation.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results are the first to provide direct evidence for fenfluramine-induced 5-HT neurotoxicity in humans.

PMID:
17473958
DOI:
10.1007/s11307-007-0082-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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