Technetium HMPAO SPECT Study in Dementia
with Lewy Bodies, Alzheimer's Disease and Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease


Luc J.P. Defebvre, Valérie Leduc, Alain Duhamel, Pascal Lecouffe, Florence Pasquier, Chantale Lamy-Lhullier, Marc Steinling and Alain Destée

Departments of Neurology A, Medical Informatics, Nuclear Medicine and Memory Center, Lille, France

The aim of this study was to compare the regional cerebral blood flow measurements studied by SPECT in dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) to determine the contribution of SPECT to the differential diagnosis of these two diseases.

Methods: SPECT analysis with 99mTc-hexamethyl propyleneamine oxime (HMPAO) was performed in 20 patients with probable DLB, 20 patients with probable AD and 20 patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). Ten pairs of regions of interest were analyzed. Tracer uptake was expressed as a corticocerebellar activity ratio.

Results: Compared with IPD, in the DLB group there was a global decrease of HMPAO uptake in cortical regions of interest except in the posterior frontal and occipital regions; in the AD group there was limited left temporal and parietal hypoperfusion. In the DLB group, frontal HMPAO uptake was significantly lower than in the AD group. Two predictive scores were established by a factorial discriminant analysis from six left cortical indices (medial frontal, lateral frontal, posterior frontal, temporoparietal, parietal and parietooccipital) and the Mini-Mental State Examination, which correctly classified 53 of 60 patients (88%) (DLB, 18 of 20; AD, 16 of 20; IPD, 19 of 20).

Conclusion: These findings indicate the presence of diffuse cortical abnormalities in DLB and suggest that SPECT may be useful in discriminating in vivo DLB from AD, revealing mainly frontal hypoperfusion in the former group. We estimate that SPECT study increases the possibility of separating DLB and AD because both disorders share different patterns of cerebral blood flow abnormality.



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