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IMR Press / JIN / Volume 19 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jin.2020.03.196
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[18F] FDOPA PET may confirm the clinical diagnosis of Parkinson's disease by imaging the nigro-striatal pathway and the sympathetic cardiac innervation: Proof-of-concept study
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1 Department of Nuclear Medicine, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, 6423906, Israel
2 Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, 6997801, Israel
3 Movement Disorders Unit, Neurological Institute, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, Tel-Aviv, 6423906, Israel
4 Sagol School of Neurosciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, 6997801, Israel
*Correspondence: jonathanku@tlvmc.gov.il (Jonathan Kuten)
Current Address: Department of Neurology, Meir Medical Center, Kfar Saba, 4428164, Israel
J. Integr. Neurosci. 2020, 19(3), 489–494; https://doi.org/10.31083/j.jin.2020.03.196
Submitted: 18 June 2020 | Revised: 14 July 2020 | Accepted: 24 July 2020 | Published: 30 September 2020
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Abstract

Autonomic involvement, including cardiac denervation, may precede the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by several years. L-3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F] fluoro-phenylalanine is a positron emitter and a true analog of L-dopa, used in clinical practice to assess striatal dopaminergic integrity. The present study aimed to assess the feasibility of evaluating cardiac sympathetic denervation in Parkinson’s disease patients using L-3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F] fluoro-phenylalanine positron emission tomography/computed tomography. Patients referred for an L-3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F] fluoro-phenylalanine positron emission tomography/computed-tomography between July 2015 and May 2017 to evaluate striatal presynaptic dopaminergic integrity underwent a heart positron emission tomography scan following a brain positron emission tomography scan. L-3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F] fluoro-phenylalanine uptake in the left ventricle was quantified using Carimas${}^{TM}$ software and compared between patients with and without Parkinson’s disease. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was used to evaluate the ability of the left ventricular mean standardized uptake value to discriminate between patients with Parkinson’s disease and those with other extrapyramidal syndromes. Seventy-six patients were included, of whom 52 were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. The mean L-3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F] fluoro-phenylalanine left ventricular mean standardized uptake value was lower in the Parkinson’s disease patients compared to the non- Parkinson’s disease patients (1.08 $\pm{}$ 0.21 vs. 1.24 $\pm{}$ 0.32, P = 0.015). The left ventricular mean standardized uptake value was able to discriminate between Parkinson’s disease and non- Parkinson’s disease patients (the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve = 0.641, P = 0.049). In conclusion, quantification of cardiac L-3,4-dihydroxy-6-[18F] fluoro-phenylalanine uptake may be able to differentiate between patients with and without Parkinson’s disease. Validation of this finding in more substantial, prospective trials are warranted.

Keywords
Parkinson’s disease
positron emission tomography
myocardium
neuroimaging
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