F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) is emerging to be a useful tool in supporting the diagnosis of AIE. In this study, we describe the metabolic patterns on F-18 FDG PET imaging in AIE.
Twenty-four antibody-positive patients (anti-NMDA-15, anti-VGKC/LGI1-6, and anti-GAD-3), 14 females and 10 males, with an age range of 2–83 years were included in this study. Each PET study was evaluated visually for the presence of hypometabolism or hypermetabolism and semiquantitatively using Cortex ID (GE) and Scenium (Siemens) by measuring regional Z-scores. These patterns were correlated with corresponding antibody positivity once available.
Visually, a pattern of hypometabolism, hypermetabolism, or both in various spatial distributions was appreciated in all 24 patients. On quantitative analysis using scenium parietal and occipital lobes showed significant hypometabolism with median Z-score of −3.8 (R) and −3.7 (L) and −2.2 (R) and −2.5 (L) respectively. Two-thirds (16/24) showed significant hypermetabolism involving the basal ganglia with median Z-score of 2.4 (R) and 3.0 (L). Similarly on Cortex ID, the median Z-score for hypometabolism in parietal and occipital lobes was −2.2 (R) and −2.4 (L) and −2.6 (R) and −2.4 (L) respectively, while subcortical regions were not evaluated. MRI showed signal alterations in only 11 of these patients.
There is heterogeneity in metabolic topography of AIE which is characterized by hypometabolism most commonly involving the parietal and occipital cortices and hypermetabolism most commonly involving the basal ganglia. Scenium analysis using regional Z-scores can complement visual evaluation for demonstration of these metabolic patterns on FDG PET.
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