Brain SPECT in dementia. A clinical-scintigraphic correlation

Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 1996 Sep;54(3):375-83. doi: 10.1590/s0004-282x1996000300003.


The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of computed tomography (CT) and single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT) in the diagnosis of dementia. Fifty-two patients with clinical diagnosis of dementia and 11 controls were studied. The scans were interpreted by one experienced neuroradiologist and one nuclear radiologist, both blinded to the clinical data. In the diagnosis of dementia, CT and SPECT showed equal sensitivity (82.7%) and statistically similar specificity (63.8 and 81.8%, respectively). The specificity of SPECT in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease (100%) was statistically superior to CT (69%). However, both methods showed similar sensitivity in detecting Alzheimer's disease. In conclusion, SPECT and CT showed similar accuracy in the diagnosis of dementia. The quite high specificity of SPECT in Alzheimer's disease may be useful for confirming that diagnosis, particularly for patients with presenile onset of the disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis
  • Dementia / diagnosis*
  • Dementia, Vascular / diagnosis
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*