The aim of the study is to evaluate the impact of myocardial 123I-metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG) in the diagnosis, clinical management, and differential diagnosis of Parkinson disease (PD) and non-PD parkinsonism.
The study enrolled 41 patients with parkinsonism. An initial diagnosis was reached after thorough clinical and imaging evaluation. After 2 to 5 years of follow-up, a final diagnosis was established. All patients underwent, soon after their initial visit, presynaptic striatal DaT scintigraphy with 123I-FP-CIT (DaTscan) and 123I-MIBG myocardial scintigraphy. DaTscan is not specific to distinguish among different types of neurodegenerative parkinsonism. 123I-MIBG myocardial scintigraphy displays the functional status of cardiac sympathetic nerves, which is reduced in PD/dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and normal in atypical parkinsonian syndromes and secondary or nondegenerative parkinsonism.
No patients showed adverse effects during or after both scintigraphies. A positive DaTscan was found in all patients in the PD/DLB group (17/17) and in 15 of 24 patients in the non-PD group. Myocardial 123I-MIBG scintigraphy was associated with lower sensitivity (82% vs 100%) but higher specificity than DaTscan (79% vs 38%) in diagnosis PD/DLB from non-PD parkinsonism. A positive scan result on both techniques, to confirm diagnosis of PD/DLB, significantly improved the specificity of DaTscan, from 38% to 75%, with no reduction in sensitivity.
Myocardial 123I-MIBG imaging provides complementary value to 123I-FP-CIT in the proper diagnosis, treatment plan, and differential diagnosis between PD and other forms of parkinsonism.