Department of Neurology and Institute of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
Department of Ultrasonography, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China
Correspondence to: Sheng-Di Chen, MD, PhD, and Jun Liu, MD, PhD, Department of Neurology and Institute of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine. Mailing Address: No.197 Ruijin 2nd Road, Shanghai 200025, China. Tel./Fax: +86 21 6445 4473; E-mail: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note:  These authors contributed equally to this work.
Abstract: Background:It is debatable whether transcranial sonography (TCS) could be a biomarker for monitoring disease progression. Various phenotypes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) may be a major reason contributing to the inconsistency. Objective:We classified PD patients into different subtypes and evaluated the correlation between SN echogenicity and disease progression. Methods:A total of 411 PD patients were included in this study. TCS evaluations of the substantia nigra (SN) were performed, and motor and non-motor symptoms were assessed by a series of rating scales in all PD patients. Results:Three hundred and thirteen patients had appropriate temporal acoustic bone windows, and they were divided into three subgroups according to disease onset age. SN hyperechogenicity (SN+) was found to be associated with age, gender, disease duration, H-Y stage and UPDRS-II scores in 220 middle-age onset patients. Regression analysis identified both disease duration and gender as independent predictors for SN+. When this distinct group was separated into male and female subgroups, the correlation between larger SN echogenicity (SNL) and disease duration was positive in males rather than females. When these middle-age onset male patients were classified as tremor dominant (TD) and non-TD subtypes, it turned out that correlation between disease duration and SNL only existed in male non-TD PD patients. Conclusions:Our study demonstrated correlation between the size of SN echogenicity and disease duration in Chinese patients with PD who were male non-TD subtypes with middle-age onset, suggesting the formation of SN echogenicity might be a dynamic process following disease progression in this distinct subtype.