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Original Investigation |

Correlation of Parkinson Disease Severity and 18F-DTBZ Positron Emission Tomography FREE

Ing-Tsung Hsiao, PhD1,2,3; Yi-Hsin Weng, MD4,5,6; Chia-Ju Hsieh, MSc1,2; Wey-Yil Lin, MD4,5; Shiaw-Pyng Wey, PhD1,2,3; Mei-Ping Kung, PhD1,2,7; Tzu-Chen Yen, MD, PhD2,3; Chin-Song Lu, MD2,4,5; Kun-Ju Lin, MD, PhD1,2,3
[+] Author Affiliations
1Department of Medical Imaging and Radiological Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
2Healthy Aging Research Center, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
3Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
4Section of Movement Disorders, Department of Neurology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
5Neuroscience Research Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
6School of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
7Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
JAMA Neurol. 2014;71(6):758-766. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.290.
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Importance  Currently, diagnosis of Parkinson disease is mainly based on clinical criteria characterized by motor symptoms including bradykinesia, rigidity, resting tremor, and postural instability. Reliable in vivo biomarkers to monitor disease severity and reflect the underlying dopaminergic degeneration are important for future disease-modifying therapy in Parkinson disease.

Objectives  To use [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine (18F-DTBZ; [18F]AV-133) positron emission tomography (PET) to explore the characteristics of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 imaging in patients with Parkinson disease (PD) with different severity levels as well as to investigate its capability in monitoring clinical severity.

Design, Setting, and Participants  Regional uptakes for 18F-DTBZ PET of different disease stages were measured. Seventeen healthy control participants and 53 patients in 3 groups of mild, moderate, and advanced stages of PD were recruited for 18F-DTBZ PET scans from the Movement Disorders Clinic in the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The severity of disease in patients with PD was quantified by modified Hoehn-Yahr Scale, Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale total scores and subscores of posture instability and gait disturbance, tremor, akinesia, and rigidity while not taking medication. Both voxelwise- and volume of interest–based image analyses were performed. The specific uptake ratio (SUR) of each volume of interest and voxel was calculated as (target uptake − reference uptake) / reference uptake using the occipital reference region from magnetic resonance imaging–based spatially normalized 18F-DTBZ images for each participant. Average SUR images were displayed as 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional to illustrate the image patterns in each group. The nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test on regional SUR was used for group comparison between healthy control participants and patients with PD at different stages. Quantitative parameters were correlated with severity of disease and disease duration by Spearman correlation. Voxelwise analysis for evaluating dopaminergic neuron decline of different PD stages was performed by SPM5.

Results  The 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional 18F-DTBZ PET images demonstrated that the reduction of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 availability was obviously correlated with the severity of disease in patients with PD. The mean reductions of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 density for the caudate, putamen, and substantia nigra were 21.50%, 58.20%, and 21.10% for mild PD; 60.75%, 79.49%, and 39.87% for moderate PD; and 63.94%, 83.20%, and 44.00% for advanced PD, respectively. The SURs of bilateral striatal regions exhibited significantly exponential correlations to stage; disease duration; Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor score; posture instability and gait disturbance; and akinesia, rigidity, and tremor scores.

Conclusions and Relevance  In PD, 18F-DTBZ PET is a potential imaging biomarker for measuring dopaminergic degeneration in vivo and monitoring the severity of disease.

Figures in this Article

Parkinson disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with the major pathological feature of dopaminergic neuron loss in the substantia nigra (SN) and, subsequently, decreased axons projected to the striatum.1 Currently, diagnosis of PD is mainly based on clinical criteria characterized by motor symptoms including bradykinesia, rigidity, resting tremor, and postural instability.2,3 Developing reliable in vivo biomarkers to monitor disease severity and reflect the underlying dopaminergic degeneration is important for future disease-modifying therapy in PD.

A noninvasive neuroimaging technique with radiotracers targeting the dopaminergic system from both positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography is an ideal method to monitor disease severity and investigate neural degeneration in PD.49 To serve as an objective biomarker for disease progression in PD, study of the correlation of imaging patterns and quantitation for an imaging tracer to clinical measures of disease severity is important.10 Previous studies have been conducted on the correlation of the striatal uptake of [18F]fluorodopa PET, for measuring aromatic amino acid decarboxylase activity, to disease severity.11,12 The correlations of dopamine transporter loss using iodine I 123–labeled 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropane and 99mTc-labeled tropane derivative single-photon emission computed tomography with PD stage and severity have been reported.4,6 Nevertheless, both aromatic amino acid decarboxylase activity and dopamine transporter density are regulated by disease and antiparkinsonian medications,1317 which greatly limit their applications in measuring the dopaminergic degeneration precisely.14,18

Vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (VMAT2) is the protein responsible for pumping monoamines from cytosol into synaptic vesicles. Vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 imaging using PET tracer 11C-dihydrotetrabenazine (11C-DTBZ) has been proven to be an objective marker of nigrostriatal terminal integrity.19 Although VMAT2 availability may be sensitive to vesicular dopamine levels,20 previous studies have suggested there is no long-term regulation effect on the VMAT2 binding sites by dopaminergic drugs for PD.2124 Using 11C-DTBZ PET, an age-dependent VMAT2 decline in normal individuals was observed along with the significant correlation of striatal binding reduction to disease duration in PD.25 The asymmetry of VMAT2 binding was also highly correlated with clinical asymmetry. Another study reported the effectiveness of 11C-DTBZ imaging for evaluating the evolution of dopamine neuron loss in a nonhuman primate model of PD at different stages.26

A novel tracer of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine (18F-DTBZ) for VMAT2 imaging with a longer half-life (t1/2 = 110 minutes compared with 20 minutes of C-11) has been recently developed.27 In patients with PD, 18F-DTBZ PET imaging studies have demonstrated a high sensitivity for detecting monoaminergic terminal reductions.28,29 Recently, the image features of 18F-DTBZ imaging in normal human brains were investigated.30 Yet, to our knowledge, the detailed imaging pattern and the correlation of VMAT2 availability to disease severity acquired by 18F-DTBZ have not been well studied. Thus, it is of importance to use 18F-DTBZ to provide in vivo dopaminergic integrity in different stages of PD for monitoring disease progression and for future clinical trials of disease-modifying therapy.

The goal of this study was to explore the image features of VMAT2 distribution by 18F-DTBZ PET in patients with PD of different stages and compare with healthy control (HC) individuals. To demonstrate the spatial and progressive change of dopaminergic degeneration, the 2-dimension (2-D) and 3-dimension (3-D) distribution patterns of VMAT2 in patients with PD with mild, moderate, and advanced stages of disease were further investigated. In patients with PD, the correlations between clinical motor disability and the reduction of VMAT2 availability were also analyzed.

Participants

Seventy participants were included in this study (17 HC and 53 PD). According to the modified Hoehn-Yahr (mH-Y) stage, the patients with PD were further divided into 3 subgroups of mild (score range, 1-2, n = 22), moderate (2.5-3, n = 20), and advanced (4-5, n = 11) stages. The study protocol was approved by the institutional review board of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (CGMH IRB No. 98-2160A/98-3626A) and the Governmental Department of Health (DOH IRB No. 980345055/991404226), and written informed consent was obtained prior to all procedures for each participant. Neurologic examinations were performed on all participants. In patients with PD, the severity of disease was assessed by mH-Y stage and the Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) when patients were not taking medication (individuals should not take any antiparkinsonian medication at least 12 hours before the tests). Subscores of the UPDRS were analyzed as follows: tremor = arm and leg rest and action tremor (scores No. 20 + 21); akinesia = finger taps, hand movements, rapid alternating movements of the hands, and leg agility (scores No. 23 + 24 + 25 + 26); rigidity = arm and leg rigidity (score No. 22); and postural instability/gait disorder (PI/GD) = walking, freezing, and falling from UPDRS II scores + gait and postural stability (scores No. 13 + 14 + 15 + 29 + 30).31 To avoid the transient effects of dopamine-mimic drugs on vesicular dopamine levels and VMAT2 availability, all PET scans were performed while patients were not taking medication.20

Data Acquisition

18F-DTBZ was prepared and synthesized at the cyclotron facility of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.32,33 All participants were studied in a Biograph mCT PET/computed tomography system (Siemens Medical Solutions). All participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for screening of other diseases and performing spatial normalization with PET images. Participants were imaged on a 3-T Siemens Magnetom TIM Trio scanner (Siemens Medical Solutions).

After injection of a mean (SD) of 386 (11) MBq of 18F-DTBZ, a single 10-minute PET scan was acquired 90 minutes postinjection in 3-D mode.29 Positron emission tomographic images were then reconstructed using 3-D ordered-subset expectation maximization algorithm (4 iterations, 24 subsets; Gaussian filter: 2 mm; zoom: 3) with computed tomography–based attenuation correction and with scatter and random correction as provided by the manufacturer. The reconstructed images had a matrix size of 400 × 400 × 148 and a voxel size of 0.68 × 0.68 × 1.5 mm3.

Image Analysis

All image data were processed and analyzed using PMOD image analysis software (version 3.3, PMOD Technologies Ltd). The 3-D visualization of the VMAT2 distribution were processed and displayed as overlaid with corresponding nigrostriatal volumes of interest (VOIs) using the Avizo software (version 7, VSG Co). Each PET image was coregistered to the corresponding MRI scan, and the individual MRI scan was spatially normalized to the Montreal Neurological Institute MRI template.34 The spatial normalization parameters were then applied to PET images to form a final, spatially normalized PET image in the Montreal Neurological Institute domain. Volumes of interest of bilateral caudate nuclei, anterior/posterior putamen (APu/PPu), nucleus accumbens (NAc), SN, raphe, amygdala, hippocampus, locus coeruleus (LC), and occipital cortex were defined on the MRI template. The occipital cortex was applied as the reference region for computing specific uptake ratio (SUR) by (target uptake − reference uptake) / reference uptake.7,35 In the PD group, the contralateral VOIs were defined as the opposite brain regions to the predominantly affected limbs and were evaluated separately from the ipsilateral VOIs. In the HC group, the mean values from bilateral regional SURs were calculated for comparison.

Statistical Analysis

The regional SUR of the 18F-DTBZ PET images and clinical data were statistically compared using the nonparametric Kruskal-Wallis test with post hoc test (Dunn multiple comparison test) for group comparison among HC individuals and patients with PD of different stages. The correlations between quantitative parameters of PD images and clinical characteristics (ie, disease severity, UPDRS score, and disease duration) were examined for each VOI using exponential regression analysis. P = .05 was selected as the threshold of statistical significance in each test.

Table 1 shows the demographic data of all participants. In the mild PD group, the parameters, including disease duration, mH-Y stage, UPDRS total scores, UPDRS motor scores (UPDRS III), PI/GD, and akinesia scores, were significantly lower than those of the moderate and advanced PD groups (P < .001).

Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 1.  Demographic and Clinical Profiles of All Participants

Figure 1 illustrates the average 18F-DTBZ uptakes in 2-D and 3-D images from HC individuals and patients with PD. Images in HC individuals revealed a symmetric distribution pattern with the highest uptake in striatal regions and moderate uptake in the SN, raphe, hippocampus, amygdala, and hypothalamus (Figure 1A and B). The caudate nucleus and putamen could be easily separated by visual assessment in 2-D images. The 3-D image of HC individuals represented an integral and visible functional anatomy of dopaminergic, serotoninergic, and norepinephrinergic innervations.

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 1.
Averaged 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-Dihydrotetrabenazine Specific Uptake Ratio Images of Normal Participants and Patients With Parkinson Disease (PD) of Varying Severity

Averaged [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio 2-dimensional images of healthy control participants (A) and patients with mild PD (C), moderate PD (E), and advanced PD (G). Symmetric and bilateral vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (VMAT2) binding in dopamine innervation is illustrated in healthy control participants. Asymmetric pattern of nigrostriatal VMAT2 uptake loss is visible in mild PD, while less obvious in moderate PD, and asymmetry almost disappears, but with severe VMAT2 binding decline, in advanced PD. Posterior-to-anterior 3-dimensional views of VMAT2 binding images of dopamine innervation are illustrated for healthy control participants (B), mild PD (D), moderate PD (F), and advanced PD (H). The frame wire in 3-dimensional images indicates the complete volumes of interest of the caudate nuclei, putamen, substantia nigra, and midbrain.

Graphic Jump Location

The VMAT2 availability in nigrostriatal regions was obviously decreased with the progression of clinical severity in PD. Figure 1C and D demonstrate a typical pattern of selective dopaminergic degeneration in mild PD as an obviously asymmetric activity decline in nigrostriatum with the greatest loss in contralateral PPu. In moderate PD (Figure 1E and F), the uptake reduction in the caudate, APu, and SN was more obvious. At this stage, the asymmetry of striatal uptake became less discernible. The characteristic of VMAT2 distribution in the advanced PD group (Figure 1G and H) was similar to that of moderate PD but with a more severe uptake decline in all regions. The correlation between dopamine neuron loss and disease progression from HC individuals to patients with advanced PD could be better visualized in 3-D views. The decline of VMAT2 began from the contralateral PPu, followed by the ipsilateral PPu, and then extended to the APu and caudate. In advanced PD, the striatal VMAT2 activity could be observed only in the NAc and head of the caudate, whereas the activity was relatively preserved in the extrastriatal regions including the hippocampus, amygdala, raphe, and LC (Video).

Video.

[18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine From Normal to Advanced Parkinson Disease (PD)

This is a serial volume rendering video of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio maximum intensity projection in normal, mild PD, moderate PD, and advanced PD cases. Gradual decline of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine radioactivity began from the contralateral posterior putamen, followed by the ipsilateral posterior putamen, and then extended to the anterior putamen and caudate nuclei during PD progression.

Table 2 shows the regional 18F-DTBZ SUR values for the HC individuals and patients with PD. As demonstrated, regional SURs of the striatum and SN in both the moderate and advanced PD groups were significantly lower than those in the HC group. Only the SURs of contralateral APu and PPu in mild PD were different from those of HC individuals. Specific uptake ratios of all striatal regions in moderate and advanced PD revealed a significant difference (P < .05) from those with mild PD. Nevertheless, there were no significant SUR differences in the raphe, hippocampus, and amygdala among HC individuals and patients with PD for all stages.

Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 2.  Mean Regional SURs and Percentage Decline Rate of Different Disease Groups

Percentage declines of regional uptake in the bilateral nigrostriatal regions for PD at different stages compared with HC individuals are also displayed in Table 2. In the nigrostriatal pathway, VMAT2 activities were reduced markedly in the PPu, followed by the APu and caudate, but less affected in the SN. Activity reduction in the PPu was greater than 60% for all stages of PD. There was no sex difference for regional SURs except in the contralateral SN for PD (P = .03) and hypothalamus for HC individuals (P = .03). The results of voxelwise analysis from statistical parametric mapping for discriminating 3 different PD groups from the HC group are shown in eAppendices 1 and 2 and the eFigure in Supplement.

The correlations between nigrostriatal SURs and clinical characteristics of patients with PD were calculated by an exponential regression model as shown in eAppendices 1 and 2 and eTable 1 in Supplement. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate the scatterplots and fitted exponential curves of SURs against disease stage, duration, and clinical scores in the bilateral PPu.36,37 The SURs of the bilateral striatum exhibited significant correlations to mH-Y stage; disease duration; and UPDRS III, PI/GD, akinesia, rigidity, and tremor scores, while the SUR in the SN displayed significant correlation only to stage, disease duration, UPDRS III, and PI/GD scores (eAppendix 2 and eTable 1 in Supplement). No statistically significant correlation between quantitative values and clinical characteristics in the hippocampus, amygdala, and raphe was observed. The SURs in the ipsilateral PPu were obviously higher than those of the contralateral PPu as shown in Figure 2. As the disease progressed to the moderate and to the advanced stages (mH-Y ≥3), the uptake in the bilateral PPu became similar. In addition, SURs in bilateral nigrostriatal regions were exponentially correlated with disease stages with a statistical significance of P < .05 as shown in eTable 1 in Supplement and that indicated 2 phase declines: rapid decline (mild stage) and slower decline (moderate and advanced stages).

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 2.
Bilateral Posterior Putamen [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine Specific Uptake Ratio vs Modified Hoehn-Yahr Stage, Disease Duration, and Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale III Score

Scatterplots and fitted exponential curves of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio against modified Hoehn-Yahr stage (A), disease duration (B), and Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor scores (C) in exponential regression models. All were with significant exponential correlations (P < .05). The specific uptake ratios in the ipsilateral posterior putamen were obviously higher than those of the contralateral posterior putamen.

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 3.
Bilateral Posterior Putamen [18F]9-Fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine Specific Uptake Ratio vs Subscores of Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale III

Scatterplots and fitted exponential curves of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio vs subscores of Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor scores for posture instability and gait disturbance (A), akinesia (B), rigidity (C), and tremor (D). All were with significant exponential correlations (P < .05) except for tremor.

Graphic Jump Location

The present study provided the 2-D and 3-D imaging of VMAT2 distributions in the dopaminergic, serotoninergic, and norepinephrinergic pathways using 18F-DTBZ PET for HC individuals and patients with mild, moderate, and advanced stages of PD. The correlation between clinical severity and the quantitative measurement of VMAT2 integrity in PD was further explored.

VMAT2 Imaging Feature of HC and PD Groups

The distribution pattern of VMAT2 could be clearly illustrated for HC individuals and patients with PD by both 2-D and 3-D images of 18F-DTBZ PET (Figure 1). As was similarly reported by Lin et al,30 high uptakes in the SN, striatum (nigrostriatal pathway), NAc, hippocampus, and amygdala (mesolimbic pathway), as well as the raphe (serotonin system) and LC (norepinephrine system), were well demonstrated in the HC group. The striatum contained the highest VMAT2 level, with the lowest ones in both the cortex and cerebellum (approximately 1% of the striatal concentration).30,38,39

For the characteristic of 18F-DTBZ imaging in patients with PD (Figure 1), the nigrostriatal binding showed a gradual reduction with the disease progression. Regional integrity of VMAT2 was mostly affected in the PPu among all patients with PD, followed by the APu, caudate, and SN. This result was in line with the postmortem results indicating that the apoptosis of dopaminergic neurons in the lateral ventral tier of the SN projecting to the putamen was most severe. The degeneration of dopaminergic pathways was worse in the dopaminergic axonal terminals of the striatum than that in the cell bodies of the SN.38,4042 Previous in vivo PET and postmortem studies had proven that VMAT2/dopamine level in the PPu had 70% to 80% reduction in patients with PD with the initial manifestation of symptoms.16,25,28,4345 We also observed the same tendency of decline in 18F-DTBZ binding for mild PD (70.0% decline in the bilateral PPu). Moreover, the VMAT2 availability in the striatum showed a significant difference between HC individuals and patients with mild PD (Figure 1), indicating that 18F-DTBZ imaging might be a sensitive tool for early detection of dopaminergic degeneration in PD. Furthermore, the striatal SURs correlated with disease severity. The decline of 18F-DTBZ binding was highest for advanced PD and lowest for mild PD. These observations are in agreement with postmortem studies, with the greatest decrease of dopaminergic innervations in the PPu for more advanced PD.39,42,46,47 A similar trend was also found in a previous 11C-DTBZ study of patients with PD of early and moderate stages.25 There was no significant difference between SURs in moderate and advanced PD in the contralateral PPu region (Table 2). This may be owing to the reduction of radioactivity in this region reaching its lower limit earlier than other striatal regions in patients with moderate to advanced PD.

One of the important 18F-DTBZ imaging features of patients with PD was the asymmetric loss of dopaminergic innervations, with an obvious decline in the contralateral striatum (Figure 1; Table 2; eAppendices 1 and 2 and the asymmetry index7 in eTable 2 in Supplement). These asymmetries were consistent with previous studies using 11C-DTBZ and 99mTc-labeled tropane derivative.25,48

The significant deficit of 18F-DTBZ uptake in patients with PD was mainly located in the nigrostriatum from both regional and voxelwise analysis. In the NAc, significant SUR reduction only appeared in the contralateral side for both moderate and advanced PD. However, there was no significant loss of 18F-DTBZ uptake among the 3 PD stages in the serotonin and norepinephrine systems including the raphe, hippocampus, and amygdala. These findings were consistent with the literature that the dopaminergic neuron damage in PD primarily starts from nigrostriatal, then mesocortical, pathways and finally affects the mesolimbic system in the advanced stage.1 A previous 11C-DTBZ study also reported a similar result, with no statistical difference of the VMAT2 activity between patients with PD and age-matched control participants in the raphe that has major serotonergic innervations.49

Relationship of Image Quantification to Clinical Measures

Biomarkers for the early detection of pathology changes prior to the clinical symptoms would be important for development of disease modification and for treatment planning.10 In previous imaging studies of dopamine systems, the loss of dopamine innervations—as measured by 99mTc-labeled tropane derivative,iodine I 123–labeled 2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)tropane, 123I-labeled N-(3-fluoropropyl)-2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane, [18F]fluorodopa, 11C-DTBZ, and 18F-DTBZ—was correlated with the clinical severity particularly the motor scores of UPDRS.49,28,43,50,51 The results in this study were in agreement with those in the literature36,37 and showed significantly exponential correlation between striatal 18F-DTBZ binding and clinical characteristics of PD including mH-Y stage, duration of disease, UPDRS III, and subscores of UPDRS. Moreover, the 18F-DTBZ binding of the SN also exponentially related to the UPDRS scores (except rigidity). These findings suggested that SUR level in the SN can provide supplementary information for evaluating the severity of motor symptoms in patients with PD.

The SURs of 18F-DTBZ in the PPu, the motor part of nigrostriatal projections, displayed good correlation to disease stage and might be a good marker to represent the motor disability and to monitor the effects of therapy for rescuing nigral dopamine neurons in the early disease stage.

As disease progressed, the increase of PI/GD scores was highest, followed by akinesia and rigidity scores (Table 1). These findings suggested that axial signs may make the greatest impact on the clinical deterioration of PD. Thus, the high correlation of SURs to clinical measurements in this study displayed potential and important application of 18F-DTBZ imaging for clinical PD severity evaluations in moderate and severe stages. In addition to the motor functions, nonmotor complications, including cognitive and mood changes, might also play important roles in disease progression of PD.52 Future work should include correlation of cognitive and mood performances to the VMAT2 distributions using 18F-DTBZ imaging.

The SURs of the raphe, amygdala, hippocampus, and LC exhibited an increasing trend with disease severity (Table 2). In particular, SURs of the LC in moderate and advanced stages showed significant differences compared with HC individuals. Similar results could also be observed in Figure 1. One possible reason is that the VMAT2 in these regions were relatively preserved in PD, whereas uptake in the occipital lobe might decrease as disease progressed owing to occipital hypoperfusion in the advanced stage of disease.53,54 Therefore, using the occipital lobe as a reference region, the SURs in the raphe, amygdala, hippocampus, and LC might be overestimated in the moderate and advanced stages. In PD, the severe reduction of VMAT2 density in the nigrostriatal system makes the effect of occipital hypoperfusion on the quantification of striatal regions too minimal to be neglected. Therefore, we suggest that the quantification of VMAT2 availability in extrastriatal regions should be more cautious when using the occipital lobe as a reference region in diseases with occipital hypoperfusion or atrophy.

Other limitations of the present study were the small sample size in each mH-Y stage and use of cross-sectional data. A large number of patients with PD for every mH-Y stage and longitudinal studies for further validation are warranted.

In PD, 18F-DTBZ PET imaging could potentially provide a stronger power for detecting dysfunction of the dopaminergic system. In addition, SURs of 18F-DTBZ reveal good correlation to clinical severity of PD. Thus, 18F-DTBZ imaging is a potential biomarker for monitoring dopaminergic degeneration and may likely be useful for assessing the disease progression of PD.

Corresponding Author: Kun-Ju Lin, MD, PhD, Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Center, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, 5 Fusing St, Gueishan Township, Taoyuan County 333, Taiwan (kunjulin@gmail.com).

Accepted for Publication: February 4, 2014.

Published Online: April 21, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.290.

Author Contributions: Drs Lu and K.-J. Lin had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis; they contributed equally to the study. Drs Hsiao and Weng contributed equally to the study.

Study concept and design: Hsiao, Weng, Kung, Yen, Lu, K.-J. Lin.

Acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data: Hsiao, Weng, Hsieh, W.-Y. Lin, Wey, Lu, K.-J. Lin.

Drafting of the manuscript: Hsiao, Weng, Hsieh, Kung, K.-J. Lin.

Critical revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content: All authors.

Statistical analysis: Hsieh, W.-Y. Lin, Wey, Lu.

Obtained funding: Hsiao, Weng, Yen, Lu, K.-J. Lin.

Administrative, technical, or material support: Hsiao, Weng, Kung, Yen, Lu, K.-J. Lin.

Study supervision: Weng, Yen, Lu, K.-J. Lin.

Conflict of Interest Disclosures: None reported.

Funding/Support:Avid Radiopharmaceuticals provided the precursor for the preparation of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine. This study was supported by the Neuroscience Research Center of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Drs Hsiao, Weng, Yen, Lu, and K.-J. Lin are supported by grants from the National Science Council, Taiwan (grants NSC-101-2314-B-182A-061-MY2, NSC-98-2314-B-182-034-MY2, 99-2314-B-182A-067-MY2, 100-2314-B-182-038, 100-2314-B-182A-092-MY3, 101-2314-B-182-061-MY2, 100-2321-B-182-012, 101-2321-B-182-005, and 102-2321-B-182-005), and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (grants CMRPD1A0312, CMRPD1C0381, CMRPG390912, and CMRPG390913).

Role of the Sponsor: The funders had no role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Correction: This article was corrected online May 8, 2014, for incorrect information in the Results section of the abstract.

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Brooks  DJ, Frey  KA, Marek  KL,  et al.  Assessment of neuroimaging techniques as biomarkers of the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Exp Neurol. 2003;184(suppl 1):S68-S79.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Eidelberg  D, Moeller  JR, Dhawan  V,  et al.  The metabolic anatomy of Parkinson’s disease: complementary [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose and [18F]fluorodopa positron emission tomographic studies. Mov Disord. 1990;5(3):203-213.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Vingerhoets  FJG, Schulzer  M, Calne  DB, Snow  BJ.  Which clinical sign of Parkinson’s disease best reflects the nigrostriatal lesion? Ann Neurol. 1997;41(1):58-64.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Fahn  S, Oakes  D, Shoulson  I,  et al; Parkinson Study Group.  Levodopa and the progression of Parkinson’s disease. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(24):2498-2508.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Ahlskog  JE, Maraganore  DM, Uitti  RJ, Uhl  GR.  Brain imaging to assess the effects of dopamine agonists on progression of Parkinson disease. JAMA. 2002;288(3):311-313, author reply 312-313.
PubMed
Marek  K, Seibyl  J, Shoulson  I,  et al; Parkinson Study Group.  Dopamine transporter brain imaging to assess the effects of pramipexole vs levodopa on Parkinson disease progression. JAMA. 2002;287(13):1653-1661.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lee  CS, Samii  A, Sossi  V,  et al.  In vivo positron emission tomographic evidence for compensatory changes in presynaptic dopaminergic nerve terminals in Parkinson’s disease. Ann Neurol. 2000;47(4):493-503.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nandhagopal  R, Kuramoto  L, Schulzer  M,  et al.  Longitudinal evolution of compensatory changes in striatal dopamine processing in Parkinson’s disease. Brain. 2011;134(pt 11):3290-3298.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Ahlskog  JE.  Slowing Parkinson’s disease progression: recent dopamine agonist trials. Neurology. 2003;60(3):381-389.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Gilman  S, Koeppe  RA, Adams  KM,  et al.  Decreased striatal monoaminergic terminals in severe chronic alcoholism demonstrated with (+)[11C]dihydrotetrabenazine and positron emission tomography. Ann Neurol. 1998;44(3):326-333.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
de la Fuente-Fernández  R, Sossi  V, McCormick  S, Schulzer  M, Ruth  TJ, Stoessl  AJ.  Visualizing vesicular dopamine dynamics in Parkinson’s disease. Synapse. 2009;63(8):713-716.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Vander Borght  T, Kilbourn  M, Desmond  T, Kuhl  D, Frey  K.  The vesicular monoamine transporter is not regulated by dopaminergic drug treatments. Eur J Pharmacol. 1995;294(2-3):577-583.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Kemmerer  ES, Desmond  TJ, Albin  RL, Kilbourn  MR, Frey  KA.  Treatment effects on nigrostriatal projection integrity in partial 6-OHDA lesions: comparison of L-DOPA and pramipexole. Exp Neurol. 2003;183(1):81-86.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wilson  JM, Kish  SJ.  The vesicular monoamine transporter, in contrast to the dopamine transporter, is not altered by chronic cocaine self-administration in the rat. J Neurosci. 1996;16(10):3507-3510.
PubMed
Kilbourn  MR, Frey  KA, Vander Borght  T, Sherman  PS.  Effects of dopaminergic drug treatments on in vivo radioligand binding to brain vesicular monoamine transporters. Nucl Med Biol. 1996;23(4):467-471.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bohnen  NI, Albin  RL, Koeppe  RA,  et al.  Positron emission tomography of monoaminergic vesicular binding in aging and Parkinson disease. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2006;26(9):1198-1212.
PubMed
Blesa  J, Juri  C, Collantes  M,  et al.  Progression of dopaminergic depletion in a model of MPTP-induced Parkinsonism in non-human primates: an (18)F-DOPA and (11)C-DTBZ PET study. Neurobiol Dis. 2010;38(3):456-463.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Goswami  R, Ponde  DE, Kung  MP, Hou  C, Kilbourn  MR, Kung  HF.  Fluoroalkyl derivatives of dihydrotetrabenazine as positron emission tomography imaging agents targeting vesicular monoamine transporters. Nucl Med Biol. 2006;33(6):685-694.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Okamura  N, Villemagne  VL, Drago  J,  et al.  In vivo measurement of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 density in Parkinson disease with (18)F-AV-133. J Nucl Med. 2010;51(2):223-228.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lin  KJ, Lin  WY, Hsieh  CJ,  et al.  Optimal scanning time window for 18F-FP-(+)-DTBZ (18F-AV-133) summed uptake measurements. Nucl Med Biol. 2011;38(8):1149-1155.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lin  KJ, Weng  YH, Hsieh  CJ,  et al.  Brain imaging of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 in healthy aging subjects by 18F-FP-(+)-DTBZ PET. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e75952.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lozano  AM, Lang  AE, Galvez-Jimenez  N,  et al.  Effect of GPi pallidotomy on motor function in Parkinson’s disease. Lancet. 1995;346(8987):1383-1387.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Carson  RE.  PET physiological measurements using constant infusion. Nucl Med Biol. 2000;27(7):657-660.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Tsao  HH, Lin  KJ, Juang  JH,  et al.  Binding characteristics of 9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenzazine (AV-133) to the vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 in rats. Nucl Med Biol. 2010;37(4):413-419.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Mazziotta  JC, Toga  AW, Evans  A, Fox  P, Lancaster  J; The International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM).  A probabilistic atlas of the human brain: theory and rationale for its development. Neuroimage. 1995;2(2):89-101.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Andringa  G, Eshuis  S, Perentes  E,  et al.  TCH346 prevents motor symptoms and loss of striatal FDOPA uptake in bilaterally MPTP-treated primates. Neurobiol Dis. 2003;14(2):205-217.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nandhagopal  R, Kuramoto  L, Schulzer  M,  et al.  Longitudinal progression of sporadic Parkinson’s disease: a multi-tracer positron emission tomography study. Brain. 2009;132(pt 11):2970-2979.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Holmes  D.  Jon Stoessl: besotted with the brain. Lancet Neurol. 2011;10(11):955.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Tong  J, Boileau  I, Furukawa  Y,  et al.  Distribution of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 protein in human brain: implications for brain imaging studies. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011;31(10):2065-2075.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Scherman  D, Raisman  R, Ploska  A, Agid  Y.  [3H]dihydrotetrabenazine, a new in vitro monoaminergic probe for human brain. J Neurochem. 1988;50(4):1131-1136.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Hornykiewicz  O.  Biochemical aspects of Parkinson’s disease. Neurology. 1998;51(2)(suppl 2):S2-S9.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Fearnley  JM, Lees  AJ.  Ageing and Parkinson’s disease: substantia nigra regional selectivity. Brain. 1991;114(pt 5):2283-2301.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Damier  P, Hirsch  EC, Agid  Y, Graybiel  AM.  The substantia nigra of the human brain, II: patterns of loss of dopamine-containing neurons in Parkinson’s disease. Brain. 1999;122(Pt 8):1437-1448.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Martin  WR, Wieler  M, Stoessl  AJ, Schulzer  M.  Dihydrotetrabenazine positron emission tomography imaging in early, untreated Parkinson’s disease. Ann Neurol. 2008;63(3):388-394.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Kish  SJ, Shannak  K, Hornykiewicz  O.  Uneven pattern of dopamine loss in the striatum of patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease: pathophysiologic and clinical implications. N Engl J Med. 1988;318(14):876-880.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bernheimer  H, Birkmayer  W, Hornykiewicz  O, Jellinger  K, Seitelberger  F.  Brain dopamine and the syndromes of Parkinson and Huntington: clinical, morphological and neurochemical correlations. J Neurol Sci. 1973;20(4):415-455.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lehéricy  S, Brandel  JP, Hirsch  EC,  et al.  Monoamine vesicular uptake sites in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as measured by tritiated dihydrotetrabenazine autoradiography. Brain Res. 1994;659(1-2):1-9.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Gibb  WR, Fearnley  JM, Lees  AJ.  The anatomy and pigmentation of the human substantia nigra in relation to selective neuronal vulnerability. Adv Neurol. 1990;53:31-34.
PubMed
Huang  WS, Lin  SZ, Lin  JC, Wey  SP, Ting  G, Liu  RS.  Evaluation of early-stage Parkinson’s disease with 99mTc-TRODAT-1 imaging. J Nucl Med. 2001;42(9):1303-1308.
PubMed
Zubieta  JK, Huguelet  P, Ohl  LE,  et al.  High vesicular monoamine transporter binding in asymptomatic bipolar I disorder: sex differences and cognitive correlates. Am J Psychiatry. 2000;157(10):1619-1628.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Pirker  W.  Correlation of dopamine transporter imaging with parkinsonian motor handicap: how close is it? Mov Disord. 2003;18(suppl 7):S43-S51.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Benamer  HT, Patterson  J, Wyper  DJ, Hadley  DM, Macphee  GJ, Grosset  DG.  Correlation of Parkinson’s disease severity and duration with 123I-FP-CIT SPECT striatal uptake. Mov Disord. 2000;15(4):692-698.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Broussolle  E, Dentresangle  C, Landais  P,  et al.  The relation of putamen and caudate nucleus 18F-Dopa uptake to motor and cognitive performances in Parkinson’s disease. J Neurol Sci. 1999;166(2):141-151.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Abe  Y, Kachi  T, Kato  T,  et al.  Occipital hypoperfusion in Parkinson’s disease without dementia: correlation to impaired cortical visual processing. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003;74(4):419-422.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bohnen  NI, Minoshima  S, Giordani  B, Frey  KA, Kuhl  DE.  Motor correlates of occipital glucose hypometabolism in Parkinson’s disease without dementia. Neurology. 1999;52(3):541-546.
PubMed   |  Link to Article

Figures

Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 1.
Averaged 2-Dimensional and 3-Dimensional [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-Dihydrotetrabenazine Specific Uptake Ratio Images of Normal Participants and Patients With Parkinson Disease (PD) of Varying Severity

Averaged [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio 2-dimensional images of healthy control participants (A) and patients with mild PD (C), moderate PD (E), and advanced PD (G). Symmetric and bilateral vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 (VMAT2) binding in dopamine innervation is illustrated in healthy control participants. Asymmetric pattern of nigrostriatal VMAT2 uptake loss is visible in mild PD, while less obvious in moderate PD, and asymmetry almost disappears, but with severe VMAT2 binding decline, in advanced PD. Posterior-to-anterior 3-dimensional views of VMAT2 binding images of dopamine innervation are illustrated for healthy control participants (B), mild PD (D), moderate PD (F), and advanced PD (H). The frame wire in 3-dimensional images indicates the complete volumes of interest of the caudate nuclei, putamen, substantia nigra, and midbrain.

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 2.
Bilateral Posterior Putamen [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine Specific Uptake Ratio vs Modified Hoehn-Yahr Stage, Disease Duration, and Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale III Score

Scatterplots and fitted exponential curves of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio against modified Hoehn-Yahr stage (A), disease duration (B), and Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor scores (C) in exponential regression models. All were with significant exponential correlations (P < .05). The specific uptake ratios in the ipsilateral posterior putamen were obviously higher than those of the contralateral posterior putamen.

Graphic Jump Location
Place holder to copy figure label and caption
Figure 3.
Bilateral Posterior Putamen [18F]9-Fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine Specific Uptake Ratio vs Subscores of Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale III

Scatterplots and fitted exponential curves of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio vs subscores of Unified Parkinson Disease Rating Scale motor scores for posture instability and gait disturbance (A), akinesia (B), rigidity (C), and tremor (D). All were with significant exponential correlations (P < .05) except for tremor.

Graphic Jump Location

Tables

Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 1.  Demographic and Clinical Profiles of All Participants
Table Graphic Jump LocationTable 2.  Mean Regional SURs and Percentage Decline Rate of Different Disease Groups

References

Braak  H, Rüb  U, Gai  WP, Del Tredici  K.  Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease: possible routes by which vulnerable neuronal types may be subject to neuroinvasion by an unknown pathogen. J Neural Transm. 2003;110(5):517-536.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Gelb  DJ, Oliver  E, Gilman  S.  Diagnostic criteria for Parkinson disease. Arch Neurol. 1999;56(1):33-39.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Calne  DB, Snow  BJ, Lee  C.  Criteria for diagnosing Parkinson’s disease. Ann Neurol. 1992;32(S1)(suppl):S125-S127.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Seibyl  JP, Marek  KL, Quinlan  D,  et al.  Decreased single-photon emission computed tomographic [123I]β-CIT striatal uptake correlates with symptom severity in Parkinson’s disease [published correction appears in Ann Neurol. 1996;39(3):417]. Ann Neurol. 1995;38(4):589-598.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bao  SY, Wu  JC, Luo  WF, Fang  P, Liu  ZL, Tang  J.  Imaging of dopamine transporters with technetium-99m TRODAT-1 and single photon emission computed tomography. J Neuroimaging. 2000;10(4):200-203.
PubMed
Huang  WS, Lee  MS, Lin  JC,  et al.  Usefulness of brain 99mTc-TRODAT-1 SPET for the evaluation of Parkinson’s disease. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2004;31(2):155-161.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Weng  YH, Yen  TC, Chen  MC,  et al.  Sensitivity and specificity of 99mTc-TRODAT-1 SPECT imaging in differentiating patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease from healthy subjects. J Nucl Med. 2004;45(3):393-401.
PubMed
Antonini  A, Vontobel  P, Psylla  M,  et al.  Complementary positron emission tomographic studies of the striatal dopaminergic system in Parkinson’s disease. Arch Neurol. 1995;52(12):1183-1190.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Morrish  PK, Sawle  GV, Brooks  DJ.  An [18F]dopa-PET and clinical study of the rate of progression in Parkinson’s disease. Brain. 1996;119(pt 2):585-591.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Brooks  DJ, Frey  KA, Marek  KL,  et al.  Assessment of neuroimaging techniques as biomarkers of the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Exp Neurol. 2003;184(suppl 1):S68-S79.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Eidelberg  D, Moeller  JR, Dhawan  V,  et al.  The metabolic anatomy of Parkinson’s disease: complementary [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose and [18F]fluorodopa positron emission tomographic studies. Mov Disord. 1990;5(3):203-213.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Vingerhoets  FJG, Schulzer  M, Calne  DB, Snow  BJ.  Which clinical sign of Parkinson’s disease best reflects the nigrostriatal lesion? Ann Neurol. 1997;41(1):58-64.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Fahn  S, Oakes  D, Shoulson  I,  et al; Parkinson Study Group.  Levodopa and the progression of Parkinson’s disease. N Engl J Med. 2004;351(24):2498-2508.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Ahlskog  JE, Maraganore  DM, Uitti  RJ, Uhl  GR.  Brain imaging to assess the effects of dopamine agonists on progression of Parkinson disease. JAMA. 2002;288(3):311-313, author reply 312-313.
PubMed
Marek  K, Seibyl  J, Shoulson  I,  et al; Parkinson Study Group.  Dopamine transporter brain imaging to assess the effects of pramipexole vs levodopa on Parkinson disease progression. JAMA. 2002;287(13):1653-1661.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lee  CS, Samii  A, Sossi  V,  et al.  In vivo positron emission tomographic evidence for compensatory changes in presynaptic dopaminergic nerve terminals in Parkinson’s disease. Ann Neurol. 2000;47(4):493-503.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nandhagopal  R, Kuramoto  L, Schulzer  M,  et al.  Longitudinal evolution of compensatory changes in striatal dopamine processing in Parkinson’s disease. Brain. 2011;134(pt 11):3290-3298.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Ahlskog  JE.  Slowing Parkinson’s disease progression: recent dopamine agonist trials. Neurology. 2003;60(3):381-389.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Gilman  S, Koeppe  RA, Adams  KM,  et al.  Decreased striatal monoaminergic terminals in severe chronic alcoholism demonstrated with (+)[11C]dihydrotetrabenazine and positron emission tomography. Ann Neurol. 1998;44(3):326-333.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
de la Fuente-Fernández  R, Sossi  V, McCormick  S, Schulzer  M, Ruth  TJ, Stoessl  AJ.  Visualizing vesicular dopamine dynamics in Parkinson’s disease. Synapse. 2009;63(8):713-716.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Vander Borght  T, Kilbourn  M, Desmond  T, Kuhl  D, Frey  K.  The vesicular monoamine transporter is not regulated by dopaminergic drug treatments. Eur J Pharmacol. 1995;294(2-3):577-583.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Kemmerer  ES, Desmond  TJ, Albin  RL, Kilbourn  MR, Frey  KA.  Treatment effects on nigrostriatal projection integrity in partial 6-OHDA lesions: comparison of L-DOPA and pramipexole. Exp Neurol. 2003;183(1):81-86.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Wilson  JM, Kish  SJ.  The vesicular monoamine transporter, in contrast to the dopamine transporter, is not altered by chronic cocaine self-administration in the rat. J Neurosci. 1996;16(10):3507-3510.
PubMed
Kilbourn  MR, Frey  KA, Vander Borght  T, Sherman  PS.  Effects of dopaminergic drug treatments on in vivo radioligand binding to brain vesicular monoamine transporters. Nucl Med Biol. 1996;23(4):467-471.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bohnen  NI, Albin  RL, Koeppe  RA,  et al.  Positron emission tomography of monoaminergic vesicular binding in aging and Parkinson disease. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2006;26(9):1198-1212.
PubMed
Blesa  J, Juri  C, Collantes  M,  et al.  Progression of dopaminergic depletion in a model of MPTP-induced Parkinsonism in non-human primates: an (18)F-DOPA and (11)C-DTBZ PET study. Neurobiol Dis. 2010;38(3):456-463.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Goswami  R, Ponde  DE, Kung  MP, Hou  C, Kilbourn  MR, Kung  HF.  Fluoroalkyl derivatives of dihydrotetrabenazine as positron emission tomography imaging agents targeting vesicular monoamine transporters. Nucl Med Biol. 2006;33(6):685-694.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Okamura  N, Villemagne  VL, Drago  J,  et al.  In vivo measurement of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 density in Parkinson disease with (18)F-AV-133. J Nucl Med. 2010;51(2):223-228.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lin  KJ, Lin  WY, Hsieh  CJ,  et al.  Optimal scanning time window for 18F-FP-(+)-DTBZ (18F-AV-133) summed uptake measurements. Nucl Med Biol. 2011;38(8):1149-1155.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lin  KJ, Weng  YH, Hsieh  CJ,  et al.  Brain imaging of vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 in healthy aging subjects by 18F-FP-(+)-DTBZ PET. PLoS One. 2013;8(9):e75952.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lozano  AM, Lang  AE, Galvez-Jimenez  N,  et al.  Effect of GPi pallidotomy on motor function in Parkinson’s disease. Lancet. 1995;346(8987):1383-1387.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Carson  RE.  PET physiological measurements using constant infusion. Nucl Med Biol. 2000;27(7):657-660.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Tsao  HH, Lin  KJ, Juang  JH,  et al.  Binding characteristics of 9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenzazine (AV-133) to the vesicular monoamine transporter type 2 in rats. Nucl Med Biol. 2010;37(4):413-419.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Mazziotta  JC, Toga  AW, Evans  A, Fox  P, Lancaster  J; The International Consortium for Brain Mapping (ICBM).  A probabilistic atlas of the human brain: theory and rationale for its development. Neuroimage. 1995;2(2):89-101.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Andringa  G, Eshuis  S, Perentes  E,  et al.  TCH346 prevents motor symptoms and loss of striatal FDOPA uptake in bilaterally MPTP-treated primates. Neurobiol Dis. 2003;14(2):205-217.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Nandhagopal  R, Kuramoto  L, Schulzer  M,  et al.  Longitudinal progression of sporadic Parkinson’s disease: a multi-tracer positron emission tomography study. Brain. 2009;132(pt 11):2970-2979.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Holmes  D.  Jon Stoessl: besotted with the brain. Lancet Neurol. 2011;10(11):955.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Tong  J, Boileau  I, Furukawa  Y,  et al.  Distribution of vesicular monoamine transporter 2 protein in human brain: implications for brain imaging studies. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2011;31(10):2065-2075.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Scherman  D, Raisman  R, Ploska  A, Agid  Y.  [3H]dihydrotetrabenazine, a new in vitro monoaminergic probe for human brain. J Neurochem. 1988;50(4):1131-1136.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Hornykiewicz  O.  Biochemical aspects of Parkinson’s disease. Neurology. 1998;51(2)(suppl 2):S2-S9.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Fearnley  JM, Lees  AJ.  Ageing and Parkinson’s disease: substantia nigra regional selectivity. Brain. 1991;114(pt 5):2283-2301.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Damier  P, Hirsch  EC, Agid  Y, Graybiel  AM.  The substantia nigra of the human brain, II: patterns of loss of dopamine-containing neurons in Parkinson’s disease. Brain. 1999;122(Pt 8):1437-1448.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Martin  WR, Wieler  M, Stoessl  AJ, Schulzer  M.  Dihydrotetrabenazine positron emission tomography imaging in early, untreated Parkinson’s disease. Ann Neurol. 2008;63(3):388-394.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Kish  SJ, Shannak  K, Hornykiewicz  O.  Uneven pattern of dopamine loss in the striatum of patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease: pathophysiologic and clinical implications. N Engl J Med. 1988;318(14):876-880.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Bernheimer  H, Birkmayer  W, Hornykiewicz  O, Jellinger  K, Seitelberger  F.  Brain dopamine and the syndromes of Parkinson and Huntington: clinical, morphological and neurochemical correlations. J Neurol Sci. 1973;20(4):415-455.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Lehéricy  S, Brandel  JP, Hirsch  EC,  et al.  Monoamine vesicular uptake sites in patients with Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, as measured by tritiated dihydrotetrabenazine autoradiography. Brain Res. 1994;659(1-2):1-9.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Gibb  WR, Fearnley  JM, Lees  AJ.  The anatomy and pigmentation of the human substantia nigra in relation to selective neuronal vulnerability. Adv Neurol. 1990;53:31-34.
PubMed
Huang  WS, Lin  SZ, Lin  JC, Wey  SP, Ting  G, Liu  RS.  Evaluation of early-stage Parkinson’s disease with 99mTc-TRODAT-1 imaging. J Nucl Med. 2001;42(9):1303-1308.
PubMed
Zubieta  JK, Huguelet  P, Ohl  LE,  et al.  High vesicular monoamine transporter binding in asymptomatic bipolar I disorder: sex differences and cognitive correlates. Am J Psychiatry. 2000;157(10):1619-1628.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Pirker  W.  Correlation of dopamine transporter imaging with parkinsonian motor handicap: how close is it? Mov Disord. 2003;18(suppl 7):S43-S51.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
Benamer  HT, Patterson  J, Wyper  DJ, Hadley  DM, Macphee  GJ, Grosset  DG.  Correlation of Parkinson’s disease severity and duration with 123I-FP-CIT SPECT striatal uptake. Mov Disord. 2000;15(4):692-698.
PubMed   |  Link to Article
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Multimedia

Video.

[18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine From Normal to Advanced Parkinson Disease (PD)

This is a serial volume rendering video of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine specific uptake ratio maximum intensity projection in normal, mild PD, moderate PD, and advanced PD cases. Gradual decline of [18F]9-fluoropropyl-(+)-dihydrotetrabenazine radioactivity began from the contralateral posterior putamen, followed by the ipsilateral posterior putamen, and then extended to the anterior putamen and caudate nuclei during PD progression.

Supplement.

eAppendix 1. Methods

eAppendix 2. Results

eFigure. Statistical Parametric Maps of Decreased Nigrostriatal VMAT2 Binding in Mild PD (A), Moderate PD (B), and Advanced PD (C) as Compared With HCs

eTable 1. Correlation of Bilateral Nigrastriatal SURs to Disease Severity and Clinical Measures in Parkinson Disease

eTable 2. Asymmetry Index (ASI) Calculated From Bilateral Regional SURs in Each PD Group

eReferences

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