Utility of 18F FDG-PET in Parkinsonism in an African population

Ferzana Hassan Amod*, Ahmed Iqbal Bhigjee, Nozipho Nyakale

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Parkinson's Disease remains a diagnostic challenge. Misdiagnosis during life is approximately 25%. Diseases that resemble PD clinically, such as the Parkinsonianplus disorders usually have a poorer prognosis. A diagnostic biomarker is needed to differentiate PD from PPS. Geographical differences in PD prevalence, genetics and environmental factors may suggest a different pathogenesis of PD in Africa which may affect metabolic changes seen on 18F-FDG-PET. We investigated the utility of 18FFDG-PET in differentiating PD from PPS in a real-life clinical setting. The study was conducted at the Movement Disorder Clinic, South Africa. 81 patients with Parkinsonism had fluorine-18-labelled-fluorodeoxyglucose-PET; 53 PD and 28 PPS. Six persons living with HIV and Parkinsonism were included. Of the 22 Black African patients, 21 had PD and only one had a PPS. Image-based diagnosis was made by visual interpretation aided by statistical parametric mapping (SPM) analysis by a Nuclear Medicine Physician blinded to the clinical diagnosis. This was compared to the final clinical diagnosis made by two Movement disorder Neurologists blinded to the 18F-FDG-PET diagnosis. Patients were followed up for a median of 4 years. 18F-FDGPET diagnosis was in agreement with final clinical diagnosis in 91% of all subjects (90% PD, 93% all PPS). Our paper reports the clinically realistic sample of patients seen with Parkinsonism in Africa. The present data shows that 18F-FDG-PET can distinguish PD from PPS with good accuracy. Few Black Africans present with an Atypical Parkinsonian syndrome. The pattern of metabolism in PLH-PD is similar to PD patients without HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100399
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • 18F-FDG-PET
  • Africa
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • Dementia with lewy bodies
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Parkinsonian plus syndromes
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy


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