Purpose The aim of this study was to investigate the association between autonomic dysfunction and striatal dopamine depletion or metabolic changes in de novo Parkinson disease (PD). Methods Based on the Composite Autonomic Severity Score (CASS), patients with de novo PD were classified into PD with (PD-AUT+) and without autonomic dysfunction (PD-AUT-) groups. We compared the dopamine transporter (DAT) availability in the striatum by quantitatively measuring 18F-FP-CIT PET between both groups. We also assessed the association between DAT availability and the CASS. In addition, we compared regional uptake in early-phase images of 18F-FP-CIT PET as well as cortical thickness between the PD-AUT+ and PD-AUT-groups. Results The PD-AUT+ group had significantly lower DAT availability in all striatal subregions than did the PD-AUT-group. The total CASS was significantly correlated with DAT availability in all striatal subregions. In addition, the subscores of the adrenergic component were correlated with DAT availability in all striatal subregions. The subscores of the cardiovagal component were negatively correlated with DAT availability in the caudate and ventral striatum. In early-phase 18F-FP-CIT PET, the PD-AUT+ group exhibited decreased regional perfusion in the parieto-occipital areas and increased regional perfusion in the pallidothalamic, pontocerebellar, inferior frontal, and primary motor areas compared with the PD-AUT-group. There were no regions of different cortical thickness between the PD groups. Conclusions The present study revealed that autonomic dysfunction is closely linked to striatal dopamine depletion and prominent PD-related perfusion patterns in de novo PD, suggesting a greater pathological burden in patients with dysautonomia.
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Conflicts of interest and sources of funding: This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (grant number: NRF-2019R1A2C2085462), and the Ministry of Education (grant number: NRF-2018R1D1A1B07048959). This research was also supported by the Brain Research Program through the NRF funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (grant number: NRF-2018M3C7A1056898). None declared to all authors.
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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging