It remains unclear whether the supportive imaging features described in the diagnostic criteria for progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) are suitable for the full clinical spectrum. The aim of the current study was to define and cross-validate the pattern of glucose metabolism in the brain associated with a diagnosis of different PSP variants. A retrospective multicenter cohort study performed on 73 PSP patients who were referred for a fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography PET scan: PSP–Richardson's syndrome, n = 47; PSP–parkinsonian variant, n = 18; and progressive gait freezing, n = 8. In addition, we included 55 healthy controls and 58 Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. Scans were normalized by global mean activity. We analyzed the regional differences in metabolism between the groups. Moreover, we applied a multivariate analysis to obtain a PSP-related pattern that was cross-validated in independent populations at the individual level. Group analysis showed relative hypometabolism in the midbrain, basal ganglia, thalamus, and frontoinsular cortices and hypermetabolism in the cerebellum and sensorimotor cortices in PSP patients compared with healthy controls and PD patients, the latter with more severe involvement in the basal ganglia and occipital cortices. The PSP-related pattern obtained confirmed the regions described above. At the individual level, the PSP-related pattern showed optimal diagnostic accuracy to distinguish between PSP and healthy controls (sensitivity, 80.4%; specificity, 96.9%)s and between PSP and PD (sensitivity, 80.4%; specificity, 90.7%). Moreover, PSP–Richardson's syndrome and PSP–parkinsonian variant patients showed significantly more PSP-related pattern expression than PD patients and healthy controls. The glucose metabolism assessed by fluorodeoxyglucose PET is a useful and reproducible supportive diagnostic tool for PSP–Richardson's syndrome and PSP–parkinsonian variant.
- progressive supranuclear palsy
- disease-related metabolic brain pattern
- diagnostic biomarker
- PROGRESSIVE SUPRANUCLEAR PALSY
- DOPAMINE TRANSPORTER LOSS
- FDG PET
- BRAIN NETWORKS