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Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron Emission Tomography (FDG-PET) Correlation of Histopathology and MRI in Prion Disease
  • Published Date:
    2017 Jan-Mar
  • Source:
    Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 31(1):1-7.

Public Access Version Available on: January 01, 2018 information icon
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  • Description:
    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and other prion diseases are rapidly progressive spongiform encephalopathies that are invariably fatal. Clinical features and magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalogram, and cerebrospinal fluid abnormalities may suggest prion disease, but a definitive diagnosis can only be made by means of neuropathologic examination. Fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET) is not routinely used to evaluate patients with suspected prion disease. This study includes 11 cases of definite prion disease in which FDG-PET scans were obtained. There were 8 sporadic CJD cases, 2 genetic CJD cases, and 1 fatal familial insomnia case. Automated FDG-PET analysis revealed parietal region hypometabolism in all cases. Surprisingly, limbic and mesolimbic hypermetabolism were also present in the majority of cases. When FDG-PET hypometabolism was compared with neuropathologic changes (neuronal loss, astrocytosis, spongiosis), hypometabolism was predictive of neuropathology in 80.6% of cortical regions versus 17.6% of subcortical regions. The odds of neuropathologic changes were 2.1 times higher in cortical regions than subcortical regions (P=0.0265). A similar discordance between cortical and subcortical regions was observed between FDG-PET hypometabolism and magnetic resonance imaging diffusion weighted imaging hyperintensity. This study shows that there may be a relationship between FDG-PET hypometabolism and neuropathology in cortical regions in prion disease but it is unlikely to be helpful for diagnosis.

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  • Funding:
    U51 CK000309/CK/NCEZID CDC HHS/United States
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