• Iodine-123 fluoropropyl–carbomethoxy-3 β-single photon emission computed tomography;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • visual analysis;
  • Parkinson subtype



To elucidate whether Parkinson's disease subtypes show a different pattern of Iodine-123 fluoropropyl–;carbomethoxy-3 β-(FP-CIT) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) binding in accordance with neuropathological findings.


We analyzed a database of consecutive patients with FP-CIT scan (n = 190) over a 3-year period and identified 122 patients (50 women, 72 men, mean age 62 ± 11.1 years) with a diagnosis of idiopathic Parkinson's disease. Patient's characteristics and FP-CIT scan results were analyzed and compared for the subgroups tremor-dominant versus akinetic-rigid and equivalent type of Parkinson's disease.


The analysis of all Parkinson's disease patients showed a significant difference between the FP-CIT uptake in the subgroups tremor-dominant and akinetic-rigid. After matching these samples for age, disease duration, disease severity (Hoehn & Yahr grade, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale score), and levodopa-equivalent dose, these findings were balanced between both groups (n = 23/23) without a significant difference (P > 0.05). However, there was a clear, significant association of visually analyzed shapes of the striatum in FP-CIT SPECT and clinical Parkinson's disease subtype.


These results confirm neuropathological models for a reduced dopaminergic projection to the dorsal putamen in akinetic-rigid patients as well as the lateral putamen and caudate nucleus in tremor-dominant patients in vivo. © 2011 Movement Disorder Society