Background: Iodine-123-labeled metaiodobenzylguanidine (123I-MIBG) myocardial scintigraphy has been used to evaluate cardiac sympathetic denervation in Lewy body disease (LBD) including Parkinson's disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). Patients with LBD had marked reductions in cardiac MIBG accumulation, indicative of severe impairment of the cardiac sympathetic nervous systems. However, the differences in scintigraphy between DLB and PD have not been determined.
Objective: To compare cardiac sympathetic function in early disease stage measured with 123I-MIBG scintigraphy between DLB and PD.
Methods: 123I-MIBG myocardial scintigraphy was performed in 22 patients with early-stage DLB, 41 patients with early idiopathic PD and 15 normal control subjects who were matched for age and disease duration. The heart-to-mediastinum (H/M) ratio was calculated.
Results: 123I-MIBG uptake of the myocardium was significantly lower in patients with early DLB than in controls. The mean value of H/M ratio in patients with DLB was significantly lower than those in patients with PD, independent of the Hoehn and Yahr stage.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that cardiac sympathetic function in DLB is severely impaired even in the early disease stage.