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January 1988

Brain Glucose Metabolism in Neurologically Normal Patients With Sickle Cell Disease: Regional Alterations

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Chemical Biology, National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) (Drs Rodgers and Schechter); Department of Nuclear Medicine, Clinical Center (Drs Clark and Larson); Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging (Dr Rapoport); and the Clinical Hematology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (Dr Nienhuis), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Md. Dr Clark is now with the Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Arch Neurol. 1988;45(1):78-82. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520250084025

• Neurologic dysfunction is a significant source of morbidity and mortality in the sickle cell diseases, occurring with a prevalence of 6% to 34%. Because changes in brain glucose metabolism may precede gross functional or morphologic alterations, we recently applied the technique of positron emission tomography with fluorodeoxyglucose F 18 in an exploratory study to compare six patients with sickle cell disease without prior neurologic abnormalities (and with normal cranial computed tomographic scans) with six healthy age-matched controls, with respect to overall and regional cerebral metabolic rates for glucose. We found no significant difference in the global metabolic rates for the two groups. However, we observed an unusual clustering of abnormal regional cerebral metabolic rates for glucose in the frontal lobes of these subjects. These results support previous observations that frontal lobe involvement may be quite prevalent in sickle cell disease, even among individuals with normal computed tomographic scans.

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