SPECT Laboratory

Main responsible: Gerda Thomsen

The SPECT laboratory of NRU is located next to the Department of Radiology on the ground floor in the new North Wing of Rigshospitalet. The facility is used both diagnostically and for research purposes.

The laboratory consists of an office, a type B approved isotope laboratory, waiting room facilities for patients, and a scanner room equipped with a new 3-headed dedicated brain SPECT camera (AnyScan) with unique multi-pine-hole collimator. The lab is staffed by two medical technologists.

Clinical work in the SPECT-lab

Patients with neurological disorders are referred to the NRU SPECT-laboratory for diagnostic SPECT investigations from the Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, and from Dianalund and other hospitals in Denmark. The diagnostic investigations include:

  • Regional cerebral blood flow with the SPECT ligand [99mTc]HMPAO
    This examination is mostly used as a technique for localizing the epileptic focus in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy that are candidates for epilepsy surgery. We are the only laboratory in Denmark to conduct ictal-interictal SPECT imaging with co-registration to MRI (SISCOM). This requires personnel specifically trained to inject as soon as the epileptic activity commences.
  • Striatal dopamine transporter imaging with the SPECT ligand [123I]FP-CIT
    This is a robust technique for early detection of dopaminergic deficits and is helpful when considering differential diagnoses in patients with movements disorder and/or dementias. The diagnostic report comes with a reference to a healthy age-matched population and is evaluated and commented by a neurologist specialized in reading the DAT-SPECT scan data.
  • [123I]CLINDE SPECT for imaging of neuroinflammation
    This technique is currently offered primarily as a research tool but also used in special patient cases for imaging of neuroinflammation in terms of the Translocator Protein. This protein is mainly found on the outer mitochondrial membrane and is upregulated when glial cells are activated.

Research projects

The SPECT-laboratory is also engaged in several ongoing research projects. We have performed [123I]CLINDE-SPECT studies on the role of neuroinflammation in patients with brain concussion and patients with multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, we have performed several SPECT investigations as part of a collaboration project with the Psychiatric Centre Copenhagen, investigating if glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist stimulation reduces alcohol intake in people with alcohol dependence.

Examples of recent publications:

  • Jensen ME, Galli A, Thomsen M, Jensen KL, Thomsen GK, Klausen MK, Vilsbøll T, Christensen MB, Holst JJ, Owens A, Robertson S, Daws L, Zanella D, Gether U, Knudsen GM, Fink-Jensen A. Glucagon-like peptide-1 Receptor Regulation of Basal Dopamine Transporter Activity Is Species-Dependent. Neurochem Int. 2020 Sep;138:104772. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Ebert SE, Jensen P, Ozenne B, Armand S, Svarer C, Stenbaek DS, Moeller K, Dyssegaard A, Thomsen G, Steinmetz J, Forchhammer BH, Knudsen GM, Pinborg LH. Molecular imaging of neuroinflammation in patients after mild traumatic brain injury: a longitudinal 123 I-CLINDE SPECT study. Eur J Neurol. 2019 Dec;26(12):1426-1432
  • Antonsen KK#, Klausen MK#, Brunchmann AS, le Dous N, Jensen ME, Miskowiak KW, Fisher PM, Thomsen GK, Rindom H, Fahmy TP, Vollstaedt-Klein S, Benveniste H, Volkow ND, Becker U, Ekstrøm C, Knudsen GM, Vilsbøll T, Fink-Jensen A. Does glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist stimulation reduce alcohol intake in patients with alcohol dependence: study protocol of a randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. BMJ Open. 2018 Jul 16;8(7):e019562
  • 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