When are imaging studies considered in the diagnosis of Parkinson disease (PD)?

Updated: Jan 24, 2019
  • Author: Robert A Hauser, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Imaging studies can be considered, depending on the differential diagnosis. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain can be considered to evaluate possible cerebrovascular disease (including multi-infarct state), space-occupying lesions, normal-pressure hydrocephalus, and other disorders.

Iodine-123–labeled fluoropropyl-2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-4-iodophenyl-nortroptane (FP-CIT I123) (Ioflupane, DaTscan) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) can be considered in cases of uncertain parkinsonism to help differentiate disorders associated with a loss of dopamine neurons (Parkinson disease and atypical parkinsonisms, including multiple system atrophy [MSA] and progressive supranuclear palsy [PSP]) from those disorders not associated with a loss of dopamine neurons (eg, essential tremor, dystonic tremor, vascular parkinsonism, medication-induced parkinsonism or tremor, psychogenic conditions). [1]


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