What is the role of positron emission tomography (PET) scanning in the workup of Wilson disease?

Updated: Feb 14, 2019
  • Author: Richard K Gilroy, MBBS, FRACP; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Answer

Positron emission tomography (PET) scanning reveals a significantly reduced regional cerebral metabolic rate of glucose consumption in the cerebellum, striatum, and, to a lesser extent, in the cortex and thalamus.

PET scan analyses of patients with Wilson disease have also demonstrated a marked reduction in the activity of dopa-decarboxylase, indicative of impaired function of the nigrostriatal dopaminergic pathway.

These abnormalities improve with chelation therapy, indicating a reversible component of striatal neuron injury.


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