[123I]-FP-CIT-SPECT demonstrates dopaminergic deficit in orthostatic tremor.
Katzenschlager R., Costa D., Gerschlager W., O'Sullivan J., Zijlmans J., Gacinovic S., Pirker W., Wills A., Bhatia K., Lees AJ., Brown P.
There is increasing evidence of a potential role of the dopaminergic system in orthostatic tremor (OT): Association with parkinsonism and treatment effects of L-dopa and dopamine agonists have been reported. Eleven patients with isolated OT had single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) using (123)I-FP-CIT ([(123)I]-2 beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(-4-iodophenyl)-N-(3-fluoropropyl)-nortropane) as dopamine transporter tracer. Results were compared with 12 age-matched normal controls and 12 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). A marked reduction in striatal tracer binding was found in OT compared to normal controls (p < 0.001). Tracer uptake was significantly higher and more symmetrical than in PD, and caudate and putamen were equally affected. L-dopa challenges, performed in seven patients, showed a small but non-significant improvement on EMG and a small but significant improvement in clinical parameters on blinded video rating. Two-month open-label L-dopa treatment (600 mg/day) led to a small improvement in two of five patients but no significant overall change. Olfactory function on University of Pennsylvania Smell Identification Test was normal. Our finding of a marked tracer uptake reduction on dopamine transporter SPECT supports a role of the dopaminergic system in OT. Lack of evidence of a clinically relevant therapeutic response to L-dopa suggests that other mechanisms must also be involved in the pathogenesis.