Journal Article Metabolic Activity of Red Nucleus and Its Correlation with Cerebral Cortex and Cerebellum : A Study Using a High-Resolution Semiconductor PET System

Hirata, Kenji  ,  Hattori, Naoya  ,  Takeuchi, Wataru  ,  Shiga, Tohru  ,  Morimoto, Yuichi  ,  Umegaki, Kikuo  ,  Kobayashi, Kentaro  ,  Manabe, Osamu  ,  Okamoto, Shozo  ,  Tamaki, Nagara

56 ( 8 )  , pp.1206 - 1211 , 2015-08-01 , Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
The red nucleus (RN) is a pair of small gray matter structures located in the midbrain and involved in muscle movement and cognitive functions. This retrospective study aimed to investigate the metabolism of human RN and its correlation to other brain regions. Methods: We developed a high-resolution semiconductor PET system to image small brain structures. Twenty patients without neurologic disorders underwent whole-brain scanning after injection of 400 MBq of 18F-FDG. The individual brain 18F-FDG PET images were spatially normalized to generate a surface projection map using a 3-dimensional stereotactic surface projection technique. The correlation between the RN and each voxel on the cerebral and cerebellar cortices was estimated with Pearson product-moment correlation analysis. Results: Both right and left RNs were visualized with higher uptake than that in the background midbrain. The maximum standardized uptake values of RN were 7.64 ± 1.92; these were higher than the values for the dentate nucleus but lower than those for the caudate nucleus, putamen, and thalamus. The voxel-by-voxel analysis demonstrated that the right RN was correlated more with ipsilateral association cortices than contralateral cortices, whereas the left RN was equally correlated with ipsilateral and contralateral cortices. The left RN showed a stronger correlation with the motor cortices and cerebellum than the right RN did. Conclusion: Although nonspecific background activity around RNs might have influenced the correlation patterns, these metabolic relationships suggested that RN cooperates with association cortices and limbic areas to conduct higher brain functions.

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