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Semin Nucl Med 2013 Nov; 43(6):449-61
Authors: Ilya Nasrallah, Jacob Dubroff
Division of Nuclear Medicine and Clinical Molecular Imaging, Department of Radiology, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.
Over the past 35 years or so, PET brain imaging has allowed powerful and unique insights into brain function under normal conditions and in disease states. Initially, as PET instrumentation continued to develop, studies were focused on brain perfusion and glucose metabolism. This permitted refinement of brain imaging for important, nononcologic clinical indications. The ability of PET to not only provide spatial localization of metabolic changes but also to accurately and consistently quantify their distribution proved valuable for applications in the clinical setting. Specifically, glucose metabolism brain imaging using (F-18) fluorodeoxyglucose continues to be invaluable for evaluating patients with intractable seizures for identifying seizure foci and operative planning. Cerebral glucose metabolism also contributes to diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases that cause dementia. Alzheimer disease, dementia with Lewy bodies, and the several variants of frontotemporal lobar degeneration have differing typical patterns of hypometabolism. In Alzheimer disease, hypometabolism has furthermore been associated with poorer cognitive performance and ensuing cognitive and functional decline. As the field of radiochemistry evolved, novel radioligands including radiolabeled flumazenil, dopamine transporter ligands, nicotine receptor ligands, and others have allowed for further understanding of molecular changes in the brain associated with various diseases. Recently, PET brain imaging reached another milestone with the approval of (F-18) florbetapir imaging by the United States Federal Drug Administration for detection of amyloid plaque accumulation in brain, the major histopathologic hallmark of Alzheimer disease, and efforts have been made to define the clinical role of this imaging agent in the setting of the currently limited treatment options. Hopefully, this represents the first of many new radiopharmaceuticals that would allow improved diagnostic and prognostic information in these and other clinical applications, including Parkinson disease and traumatic brain injury.
PMID: 24094712 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]