Alzheimer's disease - PET CT

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


Patient with cognitive impairment.

Patient Data

Age: 55
Gender: Female

Brain CT

CT scan shows enlargement of cerebral sulci and  loss of gyral volume associated with mild compensatory dilation of the ventricular system. This is perhaps most marked in the parietal regions. These are nonspecific findings that are sometimes found in the asymptomatic population in this age group.

CT scan are recommended for the routine evaluation of cognitive impairment although they do not usually categorically diagnose Alzheimer's disease, mainly because structural changes may not be detected at visual inspection until late in the course of the disease. Some morphological changes are helpful in supporting the clinical presentation and help distinguish between alternative neurodegenerative processes, especially if volumetric scans are performed. They are, however, extremely valuable in quickly excluding other causes of pseudodementias.  

Nuclear medicine

Positron emission tomography (PET)

PET-CT uses radiolabeled glucose analogue FDG to measure glucose metabolism, which indicates levels of neurosynaptic activity. On these FDG PET images it`s seen decreased metabolism activity on bilateral parietotemporal cortex.

Nuclear medicine

PET-CT (fusion of images)

FDG PET-CT images show decreased metabolism activity on bilateral parietotemporal cortex.

Case Discussion

This patients not only had decreasing cognition and memory over the last 6 months but also had a family history of Alzheimer's disease.

The severe hypometabolism noted in the temporal and parietal regions bilaterally is consistent with the pattern of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Case information

rID: 22715
Case created: 18th Apr 2013
Last edited: 6th May 2017
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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