123I-MIBG cardiac scintigraphy provides clues to the underlying neurodegenerative disorder in idiopathic REM sleep behavior disorder

Sleep. 2008 May;31(5):717-23. doi: 10.1093/sleep/31.5.717.


Objective: RBD is considered to be a manifestation of an evolving synucleinopathy, such as Parkinson disease (PD), dementia of Lewy bodies (DLB), and multiple system atrophy (MSA). We tested whether the degree of accumulation of cardiac 123I-MIBG scintigraphy can distinguish the clinical syndromes associated with Lewy body-related disease from the syndrome of PSP (a tauopathy) and MSA.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Setting: University-based sleep disorders laboratory.

Patients: Subjects comprised 95 patients (31, idiopathic RBD; 26, PD; 10, MSA; 6, DLB; 13, progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP]) and 9 control subjects.

Intervention: To compare tracer uptake of cardiac 123I-MIBG between idiopathic RBD, PD, MSA, DLB, and PSP and control subjects.

Measurements and results: Cardiac 123I-MIBG accumulation was evaluated by the heart/mediastinum (H/M) ratio. Mean value of the H/M ratio (early, delayed) was significantly reduced in patients with idiopathic RBD compared to MSA patients, PSP patients, control subjects (P < 0.001 in each group) and PD patients in early images (P < 0.05). There was a correlation between the H/M ratio and disease duration in the idiopathic RBD group. ROC analysis revealed that an H/M cut-off value of 1.9 was useful for differentiating RBD from MSA and PSP as well as distinguishing control subjects from those with RBD in both early and delayed images.

Conclusion: Cardiac 123I-MIBG findings are similar among idiopathic RBD and the syndromes of PD and DLB, but differ from those of PSP and MSA.

MeSH terms

  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine* / metabolism
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Lewy Body Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Male
  • Mediastinum / diagnostic imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple System Atrophy / diagnostic imaging
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Parkinson Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Polysomnography
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Radionuclide Imaging*
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / diagnostic imaging


  • 3-Iodobenzylguanidine