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Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016 Mar;50(1):70-5. doi: 10.1007/s13139-015-0373-x. Epub 2015 Oct 5.

Increased Brainstem Serotonergic Transporter Availability in Adult Migraineurs: an [(18)F]FP-CIT PET Imaging Pilot Study.

Author information

1
Department of Nuclear Medicine, Korea University Anam Hospital, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea ; PET Center, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT USA.
2
Center for Research Information, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Neurology, Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Republic of Korea.
4
Department of Neurology, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 103 Daehak-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110-799 Republic of Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Recent studies have proposed central serotonergic dysfunction as a major pathophysiology of migraine. We investigated serotonin transporter (SERT) availability in migraineurs using F-18-N-(3-fluoropropyl)-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl) nortropane ([(18)F]FP-CIT) positron emission tomography (PET).

METHODS:

Brain [(18)F]FP-CIT PET images were obtained in eight women with migraine during headache free phase and 12 healthy adult women, 120 min after injection of 185 MBq. Non-displaceable binding potential (BP ND) of [(18)F]FP-CIT, which is an estimate of SERT availability, was calculated at the brainstem and compared with clinical parameters.

RESULTS:

BP ND at the brainstem was significantly higher in adult migraineurs (n = 6, 1.15 ± 0.17) than healthy subjects (0.95 ± 0.14) (p = 0.04). Healthy subjects demonstrated negative correlation between brainstem BP ND and age (r = -0.64, p = 0.02), whereas this age-related decline pattern was not found in the migraineurs. Severity of migraine attack was significantly correlated with brainstem BP ND (r = 0.66, p = 0.02), when age and duration of illness were corrected.

CONCLUSIONS:

Increased SERT availability in the brainstem of adult migraineurs indicates low serotonin neurotransmission during headache-free phase. Patients who experience more painful headaches have lower serotonin neurotransmission. [(18)F]FP-CIT PET is a useful in vivo imaging technique for evaluating brainstem SERT availability in migraineurs.

KEYWORDS:

Brainstem; Migraine; Positron emission tomography; Serotonin transporter; [18F]FP-CIT

PMID:
26941862
PMCID:
PMC4762857
[Available on 2017-03-01]
DOI:
10.1007/s13139-015-0373-x
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