Mapping of central dopamine synthesis in man, using positron emission tomography with L-[β-11C]DOPA

Hiroshi Ito, Miho Shidahara, Harumasa Takano, Hidehiko Takahashi, Shoko Nozaki, Tetsuya Suhara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To estimate the presynaptic function of the central dopaminergic system, positron emission tomography measurement of the endogenous dopamine synthesis rate was performed with l-[β-11C]DOPA. In the present study, we developed a simple method for calculating an indicator of the dopamine synthesis rate with l-[β-11C]DOPA on a voxel-by-voxel basis for parametric mapping. Methods: After intravenous injection of l-[β- 11C]DOPA, dynamic scanning was performed on ten healthy men for 89min. The dopamine synthesis ratio was calculated on a voxel-by-voxel basis as the ratio of the area under the time-activity curves of brain regions to the reference brain region, that is, occipital cortex. The overall uptake rate constant as an indicator of dopamine synthesis was also calculated by kinetic and graphical analyses. Results: The dopamine synthesis ratio calculated by the present method was in good agreement with the indicators of dopamine synthesis calculated by kinetic and graphical analyses, although a systemic underestimation was observed, especially when the integration interval was set in the early phase of the scan duration. In particular, underestimations were prominent in brain regions with relatively lower influx rate constant K 1. Conclusions: By this method, regional dopamine synthesis could be estimated on a voxel-by-voxel basis. This method does not need an arterial input function and should prove to be useful for clinical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-360
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Nuclear Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug


  • Brain
  • DOPA
  • Dopamine
  • PET


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