[123I] FP-CIT SPECT in Clinically Uncertain Parkinsonism Predicts Survival: A Data-Driven Analysis

Lars Frings, Franziska Henninger, Martin Treppner, Göran Köber, Martin Boeker, Sabine Hellwig, Ralph Buchert, Philipp T. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Dopamine transporter SPECT is an established method to investigate nigrostriatal integrity in case of clinically uncertain parkinsonism. Objective: The present study explores whether a data-driven analysis of [123I]FP-CIT SPECT is able to stratify patients according to mortality after SPECT. Methods: Patients from our clinical registry were included if they had received [123I]FP-CIT SPECT between 10/2008 and 06/2016 for diagnosis of parkinsonism and if their vital status could be determined in 07/2017. Specific binding ratios (SBR) of the whole striatum, its asymmetry (asymmetry index, AI; absolute value), and the rostrocaudal gradient of striatal binding (C/pP: caudate SBR divided by posterior putamen SBR) were used as input for hierarchical clustering of patients. We tested differences in survival between these groups (adjusted for age) with a Cox proportional hazards model. Results: Data from 518 patients were analyzed. Median follow-up duration was 3.3 years [95% C.I. 3.1 to 3.7]. Three subgroups identified by hierarchical clustering were characterized by relatively low striatal SBR, high AI, and low C/pP (group 1), low striatal SBR, high AI, and high C/pP (group 2), and high striatal SBR, low AI, and low C/pP (group 3). Mortality was significantly higher in group 1 compared to each of the other two groups (p=0.029 and p=0.003, respectively). Conclusion: Data-driven analysis of [123I]FP-CIT SPECT identified a subgroup of patients with significantly increased mortality during follow-up. This suggests that [123I]-FP-CIT SPECT might not only serve as a diagnostic tool to verify nigrostriatal degeneration but also provide valuable prognostic information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1457-1465
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Parkinson's Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinsonism
  • dopamine transporter


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