PET Predicts Survival in Atypical Parkinsonian Syndrome

FDG-PET provides physicians with survival predictions for patients with suspected atypical Parkinsonian syndrome.

FDG-PET can predict survival of patients with clinically suspected atypical Parkinsonian syndrome (APS), according to a study published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Researchers from Germany investigated the prognostic value of using FDG-PET compared with clinical diagnosis among patients with APS. Seventy-eight patients with suspected APS were enrolled in the study. All underwent initial FDG-PET imaging and were followed for 5.9 years. Of these patients, 44 were diagnosed with APS and 34 with Lewy body disease. Forty-four patients were still alive at 4.7 months (median) follow-up.

The results showed that patients who had been diagnosed with APS by PET or at one-year clinical follow-up had a median survival time of only 4.1 years, while the remaining patients, with Lewy body disease, had yet to reach median survival time.

 APS (44 patients)Lewy body disease (34 patients)
Median survival4.1 yearsNot yet reached
One year after initial PET27 (61%) had died7 (21%) had died
Two years after initial PET15 (89%) of 17 surviving patients still alive25 (94%) of 27 surviving patients still alive
Four years after initial PET9 patients still alive23 patients still alive

The researchers concluded that use of FDG-PET provided an early predictor of survival in patients with clinically suspected APS. “This finding strongly supports the early inclusion of PET imaging in patient care,” they wrote.