Comparison of region-of-interest analysis and human observers in the diagnosis of Parkinson's disease using [99mTc]TRODAT-1 and SPECT.
This study determined the relative accuracy of diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) using SPECT imaging data, comparing a semi-quantitative region-of-interest (ROI) approach and human observers. A set of patients with PD and normal healthy control subjects were studied using the dopamine transporter tracer [(99m)Tc]TRODAT-1 and SPECT. The sample comprised 81 patients (mean age +/- SD, 63.4 +/- 10.4 years; age range, 39.0-84.2 years) and 94 healthy controls (mean age +/- SD, 61.8 +/- 11.0 years; age range, 40.9-83.3 years). A standardized template containing six ROIs was transposed onto subregions of the brain, and the ratio of striatal to background ROI values was used as a semi-quantitative outcome measure. All images were used in a human observer study, with four experienced investigators. The data from the observer and ROI studies were analysed using a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, where the area under the ROC curve (AUC) indicated the diagnostic accuracy. ROI analysis and human observers gave similar diagnostic performance (mean observer AUC = 0.89, best ROI AUC = 0.90). This suggested that the human observers are visually acquiring similar information from the images that are contained in the semi-quantitative striatal uptake.