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Keywords:

  • cerebral blood flow;
  • dogs;
  • SPECT;
  • 99mTc-ECD;
  • 99mTc-HMPAO

Functional imaging provides important insights into canine brain pathologies such as behavioral problems. Two 99mTc-labeled single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) cerebral blood flow tracers—ethylcysteinate dimer (ECD) and hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO)—are commonly used in human medicine and have been used previously in dogs but intrasubject comparison of both tracers in dogs is lacking. Therefore, this study investigated whether regional distribution differences between both tracers occur in dogs as is reported in humans. Eight beagles underwent two SPECT examinations first with 99mTc-ECD and followed by 99mTc-HMPAO. SPECT scanning was performed with a triple head gamma camera equipped with ultrahigh resolution parallel hole collimators. Images were reconstructed using filtered backprojection with a Butterworth filter. Emission data were fitted to a template permitting semiquantification using predefined regions or volumes of interest (VOIs). For each VOI, perfusion indices were calculated by normalizing the regional counts per voxel to total brain counts per voxel. The obtained perfusion indices for each region for both tracers were compared with a paired Student's T-test. Significant (P < 0.05) regional differences were seen in the subcortical region and the cerebellum. Both tracers can be used to visualize regional cerebral blood flow in dogs, however, due to the observed regional differences, they are not entirely interchangeable.