Metabolic patterns in prion diseases: an FDG PET voxel-based analysis
Prieto E(1), Domínguez-Prado I, Riverol M, Ortega-Cubero S, Ribelles MJ, Luquin MR, de Castro P, Arbizu J.
Clinical diagnosis of human prion diseases can be challenging since symptoms are common to other disorders associated with rapidly progressive dementia. In this context, 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) might be a useful complementary tool. The aim of this study was to determine the metabolic pattern in human prion diseases, particularly sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and fatal familial insomnia (FFI).
We retrospectively studied 17 patients with a definitive, probable or possible prion disease who underwent FDG PET in our institution. Of these patients, 12 were diagnosed as sCJD (9 definitive, 2 probable and 1 possible), 1 was diagnosed as definitive vCJD and 4 were diagnosed as definitive FFI. The hypometabolic pattern of each individual and comparisons across the groups of subjects (control subjects, sCJD and FFI) were evaluated using a voxel-based analysis.
The sCJD group exhibited a pattern of hypometabolism that affected both subcortical (bilateral caudate, thalamus) and cortical (frontal cortex) structures, while the FFI group only presented a slight hypometabolism in the thalamus. Individual analysis demonstrated a considerable variability of metabolic patterns among patients, with the thalamus and basal ganglia the most frequently affected areas, combined in some cases with frontal and temporal hypometabolism.
Patients with a prion disease exhibit a characteristic pattern of brain metabolism presentation in FDG PET imaging. Consequently, in patients with rapidly progressive cognitive impairment, the detection of these patterns in the FDG PET study could orient the diagnosis to a prion disease.
CITATION Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2015 Jun 4.