Positron emission tomography / single-photon emission computed tomography

What is positron emission tomography (PET) and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)?

PET and SPECT are nuclear-based imaging techniques that utilise radioactive tracers to visualise functional brain activity. The radioisotopes tracers are coupled with a biological molecule such as glucose, which is used during cellular metabolism and can be used to highlight areas with changes in metabolic activity. While SPECT offers more limited spatial and temporal resolution than PET, it is less expensive as it does not require a cyclotron in close proximity.

What is the evidence for PET and SPECT anomalies in people with bipolar disorder?

Moderate to low quality evidence finds increased cerebral glucose metabolism in bipolar disorder in the right precentral gyrus, right supplementary motor area, right rolandic operculum, left anterior cingulate / paracingulate gyri and the left optic radiations. There was decreased cerebral glucose metabolism in bipolar disorder in the middle cerebellar peduncles, left superior temporal gyrus, and left middle temporal gyrus.

December 2021

Image: ©momius – stock.adobe.com

Last updated at: 3:42 pm, 13th December 2021
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Fact Sheet Technical Commentary
Tags:  PET SPECT

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