PET-determination of benzodiazepine receptor binding in studies on alcoholism

EXS. 1994;71:143-53. doi: 10.1007/978-3-0348-7330-7_15.


Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and the radioligand [11C]flumazenil were used to examine benzodiazepine (BZ) receptor binding in the human brain. In a first study of healthy males acute ingestion of alcohol did not alter total radioactivity uptake or specific [11C]flumazenil binding in the neocortex or cerebellum. In a second study [11C]flumazenil binding was determined in 5 healthy male controls and 5 chronic alcohol dependent men using a saturation procedure with two PET experiments. Mean values for BZ-receptor density and affinity were similar in the two groups but the Bmax variance for the alcohol dependents was significantly larger (p < 0.05) for all regions. The present studies do not support the view that alcohol affects central BZ receptor binding in man.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnostic imaging
  • Alcoholism / metabolism*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Cerebellum / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Flumazenil / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Receptors, GABA-A / analysis
  • Receptors, GABA-A / metabolism*
  • Reference Values
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed / methods*


  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Receptors, GABA-A
  • Flumazenil