Head CT > Degenerative > Parkinson's Disease > Imaging

Parkinson's Disease - Imaging

Radiographically Parkinsonís disease appears as nonspecific atrophy with enlarged lateral ventricles and widened sulci on CT. On MR, decreased width of the pars compacta between the pars reticularis and the red nucleus may be evident. Otherwise, no statistically significant differences in signal intensity or size of the pars compacta have been substantiated.

On PET imaging using 6-fluorodopa (FDOPA), decreased uptake is most evident in the posterior striatum, particularly in the putamen. Additionally, PET studies of cerebral glucose metabolism using 18F Fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) show diffuse cortical hypometabolism most marked in the parietotemporal cortex.

The two images above are T2-weighted axial images through the midbrain.
MR has been chosen in place of CT because of its more specific findings.
In the image on the left, the arrows indicate areas of decreased width of the low signal intensity pars compacta within the substantia nigra.
This is a subtle but visible finding when comparing to the age-matched control on the right.

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