The utility of dopamine transporter scans for diagnosing Parkinsonian disorders

Ir Med J. 2018 May 10;111(5):751.


Introduction Dopamine transporter scans are increasingly being used in the diagnosis of clinically undefined Parkinsonism. Aims To assess the indications for imaging usage and its impact on future clinical management. Methods Retrospective review of scans ordered and their corresponding results over a five-year period. A chart review was carried out on a cohort of scans to assess changes in clinical management. Results One hundred and eighty scans (69% of total) were reported as showing evidence of dopaminergic deficit. A chart review in 81 patients showed a change in clinical management in 53 patients (65%). Scans were ordered inappropriately in 34 patients (13%). Discussion 123I-FP-CIT SPECT scans are being more frequently ordered and if used correctly can alter clinical management. Increased education on indications for use is required to reduce waste of resources and risk to patients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinsonian Disorders / diagnostic imaging*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*
  • Tropanes*


  • Tropanes
  • 2-carbomethoxy-8-(3-fluoropropyl)-3-(4-iodophenyl)tropane