Indexed on: 05 Aug '10Published on: 05 Aug '10Published in: Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism : official journal of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
We evaluated cortical damages following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the acute phase with [(123)I] iomazenil (IMZ) single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). In all, 12 patients with cerebral contusion following TBI were recruited. All patients underwent IMZ SPECT within 1 week after TBI. To investigate the changes in distribution of IMZ in the cortex in the chronic phase, after conventional treatment, patients underwent IMZ SPECT again. A decrease in the accumulation of radioligand for the central benzodiazepine receptor in the cortex corresponding to the contusion revealed with computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were shown on IMZ SPECT in the acute phase in all patients. In 9 of 12 patients (75%), images of IMZ SPECT obtained in the chronic phase of TBI showed that areas with a decreased distribution of IMZ were remarkably reduced in comparison with those obtained in the acute phase. Both CT scans and MRI showed a normal appearance of the cortex morphologically, where the binding potential of IMZ recovered in the chronic phase. Reduced binding potential of radioligand for the central benzodiazepine receptor is considered to be an irreversible reaction; however, in this study, IMZ accumulation in the cortex following TBI was recovered in the chronic phase in several patients. [(123)I] iomazenil SPECT may have a potential to disclose a reversible vulnerability of neurons following TBI.