Parametric mapping of [18F]FPCIT binding in early stage Parkinson's disease: a PET study

Synapse. 2002 Aug;45(2):125-33. doi: 10.1002/syn.10090.


We have shown that fluorinated N-3-fluoropropyl-2-beta-carboxymethoxy-3-beta-(4-iodophenyl) nortropane ([(18)F]FPCIT) and PET offer a valuable means of quantifying regional abnormality in dopamine transporter (DAT) imaging associated with Parkinson's disease (PD). The objective of this study was to delineate the topographic distribution of DAT binding in early stage idiopathic PD using statistical parametric analysis of [(18)F]FPCIT PET data. We performed dynamic PET studies in 15 hemi-parkinsonian (Hoehn & Yahr I) patients and 10 age-matched normal volunteers over 100 min and calculated images of [(18)F]FPCIT binding ratios on a pixel-by-pixel basis. Statistical parametric mapping (SPM) was then used to localize binding reductions in PD and to compute the absolute change relative to normal. [(18)F]FPCIT binding decreased significantly in the contralateral posterior putamen of the PD group (P < 0.001, corrected). A significant reduction was also seen in the ipsilateral putamen, which was smaller in extent but localized more posteriorly. A quantitative comparison of DAT binding in the two clusters showed that the onset of motor symptoms in PD was associated with an approximate 70% loss relative to the normal mean in the contralateral posterior putamen. These results suggest that SPM analysis of [(18)F]FPCIT PET data can be used to quantify and map abnormalities in DAT activity within the human striatum. This method provides a useful tool to track the onset and progression of PD at its earliest stages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain Mapping
  • Corpus Striatum / metabolism*
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Nortropanes / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed* / methods
  • Tropanes*


  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nortropanes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • SLC6A3 protein, human
  • Tropanes
  • 2-carbomethoxy-8-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(4-iodophenyl)tropane