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An investigation of asymmetric reduction in dopamine transporter density in patients with Parkinson’s disease

Okizaki, Atsutakaa; Yamamoto, Wakakob; Saito, Wakakoc; Miyano, Takashib; Kimura, Takashic; Suzuki, Yasuhiroc; Nakayama, Michihiroa

doi: 10.1097/MNM.0000000000001087
Technical Note

Asymmetric motor symptoms and the contralateral side of dopaminergic deficits are commonly observed in patients with Parkinson’s disease. The laterality of the specific binding ratio (SBR) for dopamine transporter single-photon emission computed tomography may be useful for estimation of reduced dopamine transporter density in striatum of patients with Parkinson’s disease. SBR with Southampton method (S-SBR) is widely used to evaluate in our country, but the results occasionally contradict with that of motor symptoms or visual evaluation in clinical practice, thus preventing a confident diagnosis. We reported dopamine transporter evaluation with distance-weighted histogram (DWH). We hypothesized that the SBR calculated using DWH (DWH-SBR) may also be useful to evaluate the laterality. The purpose of this study was to investigate the laterality of the SBR versus the asymmetry of motor symptoms, and versus visual evaluation. In total, 100 adult patients with Parkinson’s disease were enrolled in our study. The symptom-affected side, the visual-affected side, and the lower SBR side were evaluated. The evaluation was performed in a blinded manner. Correlations between the Hoehn and Yahr scale (HY scale) and both the SBRs were also investigated. Concordance of lower DWH-SBR side for visual-affected side was significantly higher (99.0%) than it of lower S-SBR side (86.0%, P < 0.01). The HY scale was significantly related to both lower S-SBR and DWH-SBR (P < 0.01). The DWH method might minimize the disagreement of laterality between the SBR and visual evaluation, and be useful for making a confident diagnosis in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

aDepartment of Radiology, Asahikawa Medical University

Departments of bRadiology

cNeurology, Asahikawa Medical Center, Asahikawa, Japan

Received 10 May 2019 Accepted 19 July 2019

Correspondence to Atsutaka Okizaki, MD, PhD, Department of Radiology, Asahikawa Medical University, 2-1-1-1 Midorigaoka-higashi, Asahikawa 078-8510, Japan, Tel: +81 166 68 2572; fax: +81 166 68 2579; e-mail:

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