[18F]FDG PET in conditions associated with hyperkinetic movement disorders and ataxia: a systematic review

Elze R Timmers, Marrit R Klamer, Ramesh S Marapin, Adriaan A Lammertsma, Bauke M de Jong, Rudi A J O Dierckx, Marina A J Tijssen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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PURPOSE: To give a comprehensive literature overview of alterations in regional cerebral glucose metabolism, measured using [18F]FDG PET, in conditions associated with hyperkinetic movement disorders and ataxia. In addition, correlations between glucose metabolism and clinical variables as well as the effect of treatment on glucose metabolism are discussed.

METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed according to PRISMA guidelines. Studies concerning tremors, tics, dystonia, ataxia, chorea, myoclonus, functional movement disorders, or mixed movement disorders due to autoimmune or metabolic aetiologies were eligible for inclusion. A PubMed search was performed up to November 2021.

RESULTS: Of 1240 studies retrieved in the original search, 104 articles were included. Most articles concerned patients with chorea (n = 27), followed by ataxia (n = 25), dystonia (n = 20), tremor (n = 8), metabolic disease (n = 7), myoclonus (n = 6), tics (n = 6), and autoimmune disorders (n = 5). No papers on functional movement disorders were included. Altered glucose metabolism was detected in various brain regions in all movement disorders, with dystonia-related hypermetabolism of the lentiform nuclei and both hyper- and hypometabolism of the cerebellum; pronounced cerebellar hypometabolism in ataxia; and striatal hypometabolism in chorea (dominated by Huntington disease). Correlations between clinical characteristics and glucose metabolism were often described. [18F]FDG PET-showed normalization of metabolic alterations after treatment in tremors, ataxia, and chorea.

CONCLUSION: In all conditions with hyperkinetic movement disorders, hypo- or hypermetabolism was found in multiple, partly overlapping brain regions, and clinical characteristics often correlated with glucose metabolism. For some movement disorders, [18F]FDG PET metabolic changes reflected the effect of treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1954-1973
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2023


  • Humans
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Chorea/diagnostic imaging
  • Tremor
  • Dystonia
  • Hyperkinesis
  • Tics
  • Myoclonus
  • Ataxia
  • Movement Disorders/diagnostic imaging
  • Glucose/metabolism

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