Journal Article
Meta-Analysis
Systematic Review
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The role of brain perfusion SPECT in the diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia: A systematic review.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common cause of presenile dementia. The clinical distinction between FTD, Alzheimer's disease (AD), and other dementias is a clinical challenge. Brain perfusion SPECT may contribute to the diagnosis of FTD, but its value is unclear.

METHODS: We performed a systematic review to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of the brain SPECT in (1) distinguishing FTD from AD and other dementias and (2) differentiating FTD variants.

RESULTS: Overall, 391 studies were retrieved on the initial search and 35 studies composed the final selection, comprising a total number of 3142 participants of which 1029 had FTD. The sensitivity and the specificity for the differential diagnosis of FTD versus AD ranged from 56% to 88% and from 51% to 93%, respectively. SPECT is not superior to the clinical method of diagnosis, but the combination of SPECT with clinical data seems to improve the diagnostic accuracy.

CONCLUSION: Brain perfusion SPECT has a limited value in the diagnostic framework of FTD. SPECT can be performed when FDG-PET is not available. SPECT is recommended only for selected cases when the diagnosis is challenging using conventional methods.

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