Research Article| Volume 375, P97-102, April 15, 2017

Comparison of imaging using 11C-ITMM and 18F-FDG for the detection of cerebellar ataxia

Published:January 13, 2017DOI:


      • Imaging of mGluR1 has the potential use for estimating cerebellar function.
      • Imaging of mGluR1 was compared with FDG imaging in the cerebellum.
      • Imaging of mGluR1 was comparable to FDG imaging in the cerebellum
      • Imaging of mGluR1 was more strongly associated with the degree of cerebellar ataxia.
      • Imaging of mGluR1 can be a more specific technique for evaluating cerebellar ataxia.


      Newly developed methods for imaging type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1) have the potential use for estimating cerebellar function. We aimed to compare mGluR1 imaging using N-[4-[6-(isopropylamino)pyrimidin-4-yl]-1,3-thiazol-2-yl]-4-11C-methoxy-N-methylbenzamide (11C-ITMM) with the existing marker, fluorine-18-labeled fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) imaging, in the cerebellum.


      Fourteen subjects consisting of 12 patients with cerebellar ataxia and two healthy subjects underwent 11C-ITMM and 18F-FDG positron emission tomography. The degree of ataxia was scored with the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA). Volumes-of-interest were placed on the anterior and posterior lobes and vermis. The binding potential (BPND) was calculated to estimate mGluR1 availability using the white matter as a reference region. 18F-FDG uptake was normalized using the white matter (FUwm).


      There were significant positive correlations between the BPND and FUwm values in the anterior lobe (r = 0.83, P < 0.001), posterior lobe (r = 0.69, P = 0.009), and vermis (r = 0.58, P = 0.042). Regarding the relationship of SARA scores with the BPND and FUwm values, a significant negative correlation was found only in the anterior lobe between the SARA scores and BPND values (r = −0.64, P = 0.029).


      This study showed that mGluR1 imaging was comparable to 18F-FDG imaging in the cerebellum. However, mGluR1 imaging was more strongly associated with the SARA scores than 18F-FDG imaging was, suggesting that mGluR1 imaging can be a more specific technique than 18F-FDG imaging for evaluating cerebellar ataxia.


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