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Comparison of diffusion-weighted imaging and [123I]IBZM-SPECT for the differentiation of patients with the Parkinson variant of multiple system atrophy from those with Parkinson's disease



Both dopamine D2 receptor (D2R) binding single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with [123I]iodobenzamide (IBZM) and diffusion-weighted imaging (DWI) have been shown to contribute to the differential diagnosis of patients with the Parkinson variant of multiple system atrophy (MSA-P) and Parkinson's disease (PD). We aimed to compare these two routinely available functional imaging modalities in differentiating patients with MSA-P from PD. For this purpose, results obtained by DWI and IBZM-SPECT were intraindividually compared in a cross-sectional study of 15 MSA-P and 17 PD patients matched for age and disease duration. The activity ratios of striatal to frontal cortex uptake (S/FC ratio) were used as a semiquantitative measure of the relative density of basal ganglia dopamine receptors labeled by IBZM. Regional apparent diffusion coefficients (rADC) were determined in the striatum. MSA-P patients had significantly lower S/FC ratios and significantly higher striatal rADCs than both PD patients and healthy volunteers. There were no significant differences in S/FC ratios and striatal rADC between PD patients and healthy volunteers. Sensitivity of IBZM-SPECT versus DWI for the differentiation of MSA-P from PD was 80% versus 93%, specificity 71% versus 100%, the predictive accuracy 75% versus 97%, the positive predictive value 71% versus 100%, and the negative predictive value 80% versus 94%. Striatal rADCs had a significant higher overall predictive accuracy than D2R binding with IBZM. In summary, our data suggest that DWI may be more accurate compared to IBZM-SPECT in the differential diagnosis of MSA-P versus PD. © 2004 Movement Disorder Society