Affiliations: [a] Department of Nuclear Medicine, Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
| [b] Institute of Medical Biometry and Statistics, Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
| [c] Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Faculty of Medicine, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
| [d] Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
Correspondence to: Lars Frings, PhD, Klinik für Nuklearmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Freiburg, Hugstetter Str. 55, 79106 Freiburg, Deutschland. Tel.: +4976127038861; E-mail: [email protected]. ORCID: 0000-0001-9377-8935
Abstract: Background:Dopamine transporter SPECT is an established method to investigate nigrostriatal integrity in case of clinically uncertain parkinsonism. Objective:The present study explores whether a data-driven analysis of [123I]FP-CIT SPECT is able to stratify patients according to mortality after SPECT. Methods:Patients from our clinical registry were included if they had received [123I]FP-CIT SPECT between 10/2008 and 06/2016 for diagnosis of parkinsonism and if their vital status could be determined in 07/2017. Specific binding ratios (SBR) of the whole striatum, its asymmetry (asymmetry index, AI; absolute value), and the rostrocaudal gradient of striatal binding (C/pP: caudate SBR divided by posterior putamen SBR) were used as input for hierarchical clustering of patients. We tested differences in survival between these groups (adjusted for age) with a Cox proportional hazards model. Results:Data from 518 patients were analyzed. Median follow-up duration was 3.3 years [95% C.I. 3.1 to 3.7]. Three subgroups identified by hierarchical clustering were characterized by relatively low striatal SBR, high AI, and low C/pP (group 1), low striatal SBR, high AI, and high C/pP (group 2), and high striatal SBR, low AI, and low C/pP (group 3). Mortality was significantly higher in group 1 compared to each of the other two groups (p = 0.029 and p = 0.003, respectively). Conclusion:Data-driven analysis of [123I]FP-CIT SPECT identified a subgroup of patients with significantly increased mortality during follow-up. This suggests that [123I]-FP-CIT SPECT might not only serve as a diagnostic tool to verify nigrostriatal degeneration but also provide valuable prognostic information.