Parkinson's disease-related increase of T2*-weighted hypointensity in substantia nigra pars compacta.Mov Disord. 2017 03; 32(3):441-449.MD
In PD, at the time of diagnosis, approximately 50% of melanized dopaminergic neurons in SNpc have died, yet ongoing neuronal death and neuromelanin release with associated neuroinflammation and microglial activation continue, as does local iron accumulation. Previous studies investigating nigral iron accumulation used T2 / T2*-weighted contrasts to define the regions of interest in the SN. Given that T2 / T2*-weighted contrasts lack sensitivity to neuromelanin and thereby SNpc, neuromelanin-sensitive MRI provides better delineation of SNpc and allows the examination of increased iron deposition in SNpc more specifically and accurately.
To examine regions of the SNpc, defined by neuromelanin-sensitive MRI, exhibiting iron deposition in PD.
T1 -weighted and susceptibility weighted imaging data were obtained in a cohort of 82 subjects (54 controls and 28 PD patients). The PD patients were clinically diagnosed with an average UPDRS-III score of 37.9 ± 12.5 in the off medication state. Susceptibility weighted imaging data were analyzed using SNpc regions of interest defined by neuromelanin-sensitive MRI.
Compared to control subjects, significantly more hypointense signal was observed in the SNpc defined by neuromelanin-sensitive MRI in the PD patients. In the PD group, the lateral ventral region of SNpc exhibited the greatest increase of hypointensity. This increase in the lateral ventral region of SNpc robustly differentiated PD patients from controls.
T2*-weighted hypointense signal in the SNpc defined by neuromelanin-sensitive MRI is significantly increased in PD. It is most likely a measure sensitive to PD-related iron deposition and may serve as a robust biomarker of PD. © 2016 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.