The diagnostic potential of technetium-99m hexamethylpropylene amine oxime (HMPAO) following systemic administration of the cerebral vasodilator acetazolamide (acetazolamide test) was evaluated by regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) single-photon emission tomography (SPET) in patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) or vascular dementia (VD). An initial, high-resolution SPET study was performed with 99mTc-HMPAO, and after 2 days the patients were re-evaluated with 99mTc-HMPAO following systemic administration of acetazolamide. Reconstructed SPET slices were evaluated visually and semiquantitatively by a semi-automatic rCBF map method. When 99mTc-HMPAO alone was used, bilateral hypoperfusion was found in the temporal and/or parietal regions in 33% (6/18) of the VD patients and in 70% (23/33) of the AD patients. The corresponding data obtained by quantitative evaluation were 41% (7/17) and 71% (15/21), respectively. The vascular reserve capacity, as determined with the acetazolamide test, was preserved visually in 22% (4/18) and quantitatively in 29% (5/17) of the VD patients, but in 73% (24/33) and 76% (16/21) of the AD patients. The differences in the perfusion patterns between the VD and AD patients were statistically significant (P < 0.01, Fischer's exact test). Of the VD patients with hypoperfusion (bilateral temporal and/or parietal), 4/6 (67%, visual evaluation) and 4/7 (57%, quantitative evaluation) had a decreased vascular reserve capacity as determined with the acetazolamide test. In the AD group of patients the corresponding results were 3/23 (13%) and 4/15 (27%). It is concluded that the acetazolamide test is promising in rCBF SPET to differentiate VD from AD.
- Acetazolamide test
- Alzheimer's disease
- Regional cerebral blood flow single-photon emission tomography
- Technetium-99m hexamethyl-propylene amine oxime
- Vascular dementia
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging