SPECT Laboratory

Main responsible: Gerda Thomsen

The SPECT laboratory of NRU is located at the Department of Neurology on the 8th floor in the main complex of Rigshospitalet. The SPECT-lab has a strong clinical function with more than 200 clinical scans performed per year, but it also contributes significantly to the research at NRU, primarily by performing SPECT scans on healthy individuals.

The laboratory consists of two offices, a type B approved isotope laboratory, and a scanner room equipped with a 3-headed dedicated brain SPECT camera (Philips IRIX), and the lab is staffed by three medical technologists.

Clinical work in the SPECT-lab

Each year more than 200 patients are referred to the SPECT-lab for diagnostic SPECT-scanning mostly from the Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, but also from Dianalund, Hillerød and other hospitals in Denmark.

One type of the clinical SPECT scans conducted by the SPECT-lab is DaTSCAN which is striatal dopamine transporter imaging with the ligand [123I]FP-CIT. This technique is used in evaluation of adult patients with suspected parkinsonian syndromes since it may help differentiate essential tremor from idiopathic Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy. Furthermore, the technique can help differentiate Lewy body dementia from Alzheimer’s disease.

Another type of clinical SPECT scans performed by the SPECT-lab is blood flow imaging with the ligand [99mTc]HMPAO. At present, we mostly use the technique for brain perfusion by SPECT in the presurgical detection of the epileptic focus in patients with complex partial seizures refractory to medical treatment. The SPECT-lab is highly specialized in presurgical epilepsy surgery work-up, since it is the only laboratory in Denmark to conduct ictal-interictal SPECT imaging with co-registration to MRI. The technique is called SISCOM (Subtraction Ictal SPECT Coregistred to MRI) and it has proven to be a highly valuable diagnostic tool in non-invasive localization of the seizure-onset zone. The SISCOM technique also applies to investigations in children.

Research in the SPECT-lab

The SPECT-lab is engaged in different research projects at NRU. We have previously collected data from healthy individuals and together with EU researchers built reference databases of healthy controls, e.g., the ENC-DAT database of [123I]FP-CIT SPECT scans, for comparison of the outcome in patients to assist the clinicians’ evaluation quantitatively. Recently, we have been actively engaged in the EU-funded INMiND project where we have contributed by performing several [123I]CLINDE SPECT investigations in both healthy subjects and in patients with neuroinflammation.

Examples of recent publications:

  • Albert NL, Unterrainer M, Diemling M, Xiong G, Bartenstein P, Koch W, Varrone A, Dickson JC, Tossici-Bolt L, Sera T, Asenbaum S, Booij J, Kapucu LÖ, Kluge A, Ziebell M, Darcourt J, Nobili F, Pagani M, Sabri O, Hesse S, Borght TV, Van Laere K, Tatsch K, la Fougère C. Implementation of the European multicentre database of healthy controls for [(123)I]FP-CIT SPECT increases diagnostic accuracy in patients with clinically uncertain parkinsonian syndromes. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016 Jul;43(7):1315-22
  • Buchert R, Kluge A, Tossici-Bolt L, Dickson J, Bronzel M, Lange C, Asenbaum S, Booij J, Atay Kapucu LÖ, Svarer C, Koulibaly PM, Nobili F, Pagani M, Sabri O, Sera T, Tatsch K, Vander Borght T, Van Laere K, Varrone A, Iida H. Reduction in camera-specific variability in [123I]FP-CIT SPECT outcome measures by image reconstruction optimized for multisite settings: impact on age-dependence of the specific binding ratio in the ENC-DAT database of healthy controls. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2016 Jul;43(7):1323-36
  • Nørbak-Emig H, Ebdrup BH, Fagerlund B, Svarer C, Rasmussen H, Friberg L, Allerup PN, Rostrup E, Pinborg LH, Glenthøj BY. Frontal D2/3 receptor availability in schizophrenia patients before and after their first antipsychotic treatment: Relation to cognitive functions and psychopathology. Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Apr 29;19(5)
  • Jensen P, Feng L, Law I, Svarer C, Knudsen GM, Mikkelsen JD, de Nijs R, Larsen VA, Dyssegaard A, Thomsen GK, Fischer W, Guilloteau D, Pinborg LH. TSPO imaging in glioblastoma multiforme: A direct comparison between 123I-CLINDE SPECT, 18F-FET PET and gadolinium-enhanced MRI. J Nucl Med. 2015 Jul 16;56(9):1386-90
  • Jensen P, Kondziella D, Thomsen G, Dyssegaard A, Svarer C, Pinborg LH. Anti-NMDAR encephalitis: demonstration of neuroinflammation and the effect of immunotherapy. Neurology. 2015 Feb 24;84(8):859
  • Feng L, Svarer C, Thomsen G, de Nijs R, Larsen VA, Jensen P, Adamsen D, Dyssegaard A, Fischer W, Meden P, Krieger D, Møller K, Knudsen GM, Pinborg LH. In Vivo Quantification of Cerebral Translocator Protein Binding in Humans Using 6-Chloro-2-(4'-123I-Iodophenyl)-3-(N,N-Diethyl)-Imidazo[1,2-a]Pyridine-3-Acetamide SPECT. J Nucl Med. 2014 Dec;55(12):1966-72
  • Thomsen G, Ziebell M, Jensen PS, Knudsen GM, Pinborg LH. No correlation between body mass index and striatal dopamine transporter availability in healthy volunteers using SPECT and [123I]PE2I. Obesity 2013,12: 1803-1806
  • Ziebell M, Andersen BB, Thomsen G, Pinborg LH, Karlsborg M, Hasselbalch SG, Knudsen GM. Predictive value of dopamine transporter SPECT imaging with [¹²³I]PE2I in patients with subtle parkinsonian symptoms. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 2012 Feb;39(2):242-50
  • Jensen PS, Thomsen G, Ziebell M, deNijs, R, Svarer C, Malik U, Skouboe G, Knudsen GM. Validation of a Method for Accurate and Highly Reproducible Quantification of Brain Dopamine Transporter SPECT Studies. J. Nuclear Medicine and Technology. 2011;39(4):271-8
  • Ziebell M, Holm-Hansen S, Thomsen G, Wagner A, Jensen P, Pinborg LH, Knudsen GM. Serotonin transporters in dopamine transporter imaging: A head-to-head comparison of dopamine transporter SPECT radioligands [123I]FP-CIT and [123I]PE2I. J Nucl Med. 2010 51,1885-1891