Comparison between a dual-head and a brain-dedicated SPECT system in the measurement of the loss of dopamine transporters with [123I]FP-CIT

Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2008 Jul;35(7):1343-9. doi: 10.1007/s00259-008-0729-x. Epub 2008 Feb 19.


Background: Dual-head SPECT systems are used by many clinical departments for [(123)I]FP-CIT SPECT imaging, while triple-head or brain-dedicated systems with better imaging performance are more commonly used by research institutions. There are limited data comparing the capability of the two types of system to measure dopamine transporter (DAT) loss in vivo.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the ability of a dual-head and a brain-dedicated SPECT system to estimate the degree of DAT loss in different movement disorders with variable nigrostriatal impairment, with [(123)I]FP-CIT.

Materials and methods: Four patients with essential tremor, 24 with Parkinson's disease (PD), six with spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 and six controls were studied with [(123)I]FP-CIT. SPECT scans were performed on a dual-head (E.CAM-Siemens) and subsequently on a brain-dedicated system (Ceraspect-DSI).

Results: Striatal DAT outcome measures on the E.CAM and the Ceraspect were strongly correlated and the putamen-to-caudate ratios were almost identical. Although the measured values were lower by 52+/-25% in caudate and by 51+/-31% in putamen on the E.CAM (p<0.0001), the average striatal DAT decrease in each patient group compared with controls was similar for both systems. In PD patients, similar correlations (p<0.05) were found between motor UPDRS or Hoehn and Yahr stage and striatal DAT density.

Conclusions: Despite underestimation of striatal DAT outcome measures, the E.CAM showed similar capability as the Ceraspect in measuring the degree of nigrostriatal dopaminergic deficit and assessing the correlation between DAT outcome measures and clinical variables of PD severity and stage.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Caudate Nucleus / diagnostic imaging
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Essential Tremor / diagnostic imaging
  • Essential Tremor / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Movement Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Movement Disorders / metabolism*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Parkinson Disease / metabolism
  • Putamen / diagnostic imaging
  • Putamen / metabolism
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / diagnostic imaging
  • Spinocerebellar Ataxias / metabolism
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / instrumentation
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*
  • Tropanes*


  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tropanes
  • 2-carbomethoxy-8-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(4-iodophenyl)tropane