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September 1990

Positron Emission Tomography in Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Universitätsklinik für Neurologie and Max-Planck-Institut für Neurologische Forschung (Drs Holthoff, Sandmann, Pawlik, and Heiss) and Institut für Pathologie der Universität; Köln (Dr Schröder), Köln, West Germany.

Arch Neurol. 1990;47(9):1035-1038. doi:10.1001/archneur.1990.00530090117024

• Regional cerebral glucose metabolism was studied in a 73-year-old woman with autopsy-confirmed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, using positron emission tomography of 2-(18F)fluorodeoxyglucose. Regional absolute values were analyzed in 14 partially overlapping slices. Clinically, the patient was in an advanced stage of disease when positron emission tomographic scans revealed severe, diffuse hypometabolism, and neuropathological findings showed diffuse spongiform changes throughout the brain, with neuronal cell loss being obvious only in the cerebellum. Computed tomography was unremarkable for age, whereas the positron emission tomographic results were in accordance with histological findings and the patient's clinical condition. This article suggests that positron emission tomography depicts neuronal dysfunction rather than neuronal cell loss.