Advances in SPECT Methodology

Int Rev Neurobiol. 2018:141:77-96. doi: 10.1016/bs.irn.2018.08.001. Epub 2018 Sep 6.


The emerging role of molecular imaging has made possible to evaluate and quantify biochemical changes of molecular targets in specific neurochemical systems involved in movement disorders, providing neurochemical information of clinical changes before the pathological features occurred. In detail, radionuclides imaging techniques are frequently used for the in vivo study of neurotransmitter and receptor function, alterations in cerebral blood flow and metabolic activity, abnormal protein deposition, and inflammation, with a central role in molecular imaging for preclinical and clinical studies. The present chapter represents an overview of main use of single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in movement disorders, with a focal attention on specific radiotracers used, recent advances in SPECT technology and reconstruction algorithm and added specific value of semiquantitative methods for images analysis. Finally, a brief paragraph is dedicated to description of SPECT/CT devices and advantages of using hybrid technology.

Keywords: Cerebral blood flow; Dopaminergic system; Molecular imaging; Reconstruction algorithm; Semiquantitative analysis; Single-photon emission computed tomography.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Dopaminergic Neurons / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Movement Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Movement Disorders / metabolism*
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Receptors, Dopamine / metabolism*
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon / methods*


  • Receptors, Dopamine