Differences in resting state regional cerebral blood flow assessed with 99mTc-HMPAO SPECT and brain atlas matching between depressed patients with and without tinnitus

Nucl Med Commun. 2002 May;23(5):429-39. doi: 10.1097/00006231-200205000-00002.


An increased occurrence of major depressive disorder has been reported in tinnitus patients, and of tinnitus in depressive patients. Involvement of several Brodmann areas (BAs) has been reported in tinnitus perception. The aim of this study was to assess the regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) changes in depressed patients with and without tinnitus. The rCBF distribution at rest was compared among 45 patients with a lifetime prevalence of major depressive disorder, of whom 27 had severe tinnitus, and 26 normal healthy subjects. 99mTc-hexamethylenepropylene amine oxime (99mTc-HMPAO) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), using a three-headed gamma camera, was performed and the uptake in 34 functional sub-volumes of the brain bilaterally was assessed by a computerized brain atlas. Decreased rCBF in right frontal lobe BA 45 (P<0.05), the left parietal lobe BA 39 (P<0.00) and the left visual association cortex BA 18 (P<0.05) was found in tinnitus patients compared with non-tinnitus patients. The proportion of tinnitus patients with pronounced rCBF alterations in one or more of the temporal lobe BAs 41+21+22 was increased compared to gender matched controls (P<0.00) and patients without tinnitus (P<0.05). Positive correlations were found between trait anxiety scales from the Karolinska Scales of Personality and rCBF in tinnitus patients only in three limbic BAs (P<0.01), and inverse correlations in non-tinnitus patients only in five BAs subserving auditory perception and processing (P<0.05). rCBF differences between healthy controls and depressed patients with and without tinnitus were found in this study. The rCBF alterations were distributed in the cortex and were particularly specific in the auditory cortex. These findings suggest that taking audiological symptoms into account may yield more consistent results between rCBF studies of depression.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Depressive Disorder / complications
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Depressive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Factors
  • Subtraction Technique
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime*
  • Tinnitus / complications
  • Tinnitus / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tinnitus / physiopathology
  • Tinnitus / psychology
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods


  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime