DOI: 10.1007/s00259-018-4019-yPages: 1585-1595

The role of 18F-FP-CIT PET in differentiation of progressive supranuclear palsy and frontotemporal dementia in the early stage

1. Yonsei University College of Medicine, Department of Neurology

2. University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Asan Medical Center

3. Yonsei University College of Medicine, Severance Biomedical Science Institute

Correspondence to:
Phil Hyu Lee
Tel: +82-2-2228-1608




The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the pattern of striatal dopamine transporter (DAT) availability could differentiate between progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in the first few years of the disease.


We enrolled patients who had Parkinsonism and frontal dysfunction and/or language deficit, visited the clinic within 2 years of the onset of symptoms, and had been followed-up for longer than 5 years; thus resulting in 26 patients with PSP and 24 patients with FTD. By quantitatively analyzing N-(3-[18F]fluoropropyl)-2β-carbon ethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl) nortropane PET, we compared the pattern of DAT availability at the time of the baseline evaluation between the two groups. The discriminatory power of variables including DAT activity and clinical parameters was investigated by receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses. Additionally, we analyzed the correlation between striatal subregional DAT availability and cognitive profiles.


Patients with PSP and FTD had significantly lower DAT availability than normal controls in the whole striatum and in each striatal subregion. When comparing the two groups, DAT availability was significantly lower in patients with PSP than those with FTD in all striatal subregions. The PSP and FTD groups had generally similar subregional patterns of DAT activity in terms of the anteroposterior and ventrodorsal gradients and asymmetry, except for a different preferential involvement in the caudate. The ROC analysis showed that the DAT activity of the whole striatum had an excellent discriminatory power relative to Parkinsonism or neurocognitive profiles. Correlation analysis showed that verbal memory was significantly correlated with DAT availability in the whole striatum and the putaminal subregion only in patients with PSP.


DAT scans have prognostic value in determining whether patients with Parkinsonism and behavioral and/or language dysfunction will develop features of PSP or FTD later in the disease course.

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  • Accepted: Apr 10, 2018
  • Online: May 4, 2018

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