Review Article - Positron emission tomography in neurological diseases|
Kumar Sudhir, Rajshekher G., Prabhakar Subhashini
Positron emission tomography (PET) is the study of human physiology by electronic detection of positron-emitting radiopharmaceuticals. It is one of the noninvasive technologies that can measure the metabolic and functional activity of living tissue. Positron emission tomography finds its clinical applications in broadly three specialties - oncology, cardiology, and neurology. The current review focuses on its indications in neurological diseases. Recently published literature on the use of PET in neurology has been thoroughly analyzed. Several reports regarding the usage of PET in epilepsy, stroke, dementia, and movement disorders are available. Positron emission tomography does not appear to be useful as a primary or sole imaging technique in these conditions. On the other hand, it is useful in very specific situations, which have been elaborated in the review. It is also noteworthy that PET is complementary to the computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging findings and data obtained from combining these modalities can be valuable in situations such as localization of the epileptogenic focus in cases of refractory epilepsy or for prediction of the outcome after thrombolysis in acute ischemic stroke. The major handicaps in widespread use of PET appear to be its lack of availability and its relatively high cost. Nevertheless, a review such as this would be helpful in judiciously selecting those patients who would benefit from undergoing a PET scan, at a time when PET imaging facility is likely to be available soon in the Indian private sector.
Clinical applications, neurological diseases, positron emission tomography