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27 August 2014 : Original article

Glucose Metabolism Measured by Positron Emission Tomography is Reduced in Patients with White Matter Presumably Ischemic Lesions

Jian LiBCDEF, Wenli HuAG

Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:1525-1530

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The severity and progression of white matter ischemic lesion (WMIL) are closely linked to vascular dementia. The function of neural tissue is closely linked to glucose consumption as the most important energy-supplying metabolic process. At present, [18]fluorine-fluorodeoxy glucose ([18]FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) can provide regional and 3-dimensional quantification of glucose metabolism in the human brain. Although MMSE and MoCA are commonly used screens in cognitive impairment, no research team has yet validated their performance in WMIL. The purpose of our study was to compare MMSE and MoCA in screening for cognitive impairment and to explore the correlations between CMRglu values and executive function.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: All the participants underwent comprehensive clinical, MoCA, MMSE, MRI, and PET examinations. Patients in the WMIL group were subdivided into 3 severity subgroups according to the Fazekas scale.

RESULTS: The MoCA scores were lower in the WMIL group. Our research indicates that MoCA is a more sensitive screening tool than the commonly used MMSE in detecting cognitive impairment in patients with WMIL. CMRglu values of gray matter were decreased in the WMIL group. Reductions of CMRglu in parietal lobe, frontal lobe, and white matter centrum semiovale were observed to different degrees in the WMIL groups according to the modified Fazekas scale. A significant negative correlation was found between executive function and CMRglu in the frontal lobe.

CONCLUSIONS: MoCA appears to be a more sensitive screening tool than the commonly used MMSE in detecting cognitive impairment in patients with WMIL. CMRglu can potentially be used as a biomarker for predicting the severity of WMIL.

Keywords: Brain Ischemia - radionuclide imaging, Case-Control Studies, Frontal Lobe - radionuclide imaging, Glucose - metabolism, Neuropsychological Tests, Positron-Emission Tomography, Risk Factors, Temporal Lobe - radionuclide imaging, White Matter - radionuclide imaging

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