© 2020 The Authors Purpose: Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is an atypical parkinsonian syndrome and often difficult to discriminate clinically from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Parkinson's disease (PD) in early stages. Although a characteristic metabolic brain network has been reported for MSA, it is unknown whether this network can provide a clinically useful biomarker in different centers. This study was aimed to identify and cross-validate MSA-related brain network and assess its ability for differential diagnosis and clinical correlations in Chinese and American patient cohorts. Methods: We included 18F-FDG PET scans retrospectively from 128 clinically diagnosed parkinsonian patients (34 MSA, 34 PSP and 60 PD) and 40 normal subjects in China and in the USA. Using PET images from 20 moderate-stage MSA patients of parkinsonian subtype and 20 normal subjects in both centers, we reproduced MSA-related pattern (MSAPRP) of spatial covariance and estimated its reliability. MSAPRP scores were evaluated in assessing differential diagnosis among moderate- and early-stage MSA, PSP or PD patients and clinical correlations with disease severity. Regional metabolic differences were detected using statistical parameter mapping analysis. MSA-related network and regional topographies of metabolic abnormality were cross-validated between the Chinese and American cohorts. Results: We generated a highly reliable MSAPRP characterized by decreased loading in inferior frontal cortex, striatum and cerebellum, and increased loading in sensorimotor, parietal and occipital cortices. MSAPRP scores discriminated between normal, MSA, PSP and PD subjects and correlated with standardized ratings of clinical stages and motor symptoms in MSA. High similarities in MSAPRPs, network scores and corresponding maps of metabolic abnormality were observed between two different cohorts. Conclusion: We have demonstrated reproducible metabolic topographies associated with MSA at both network and regional levels in two independent patient cohorts. Moreover, MSAPRP scores are sensitive for evaluating disease discrimination and clinical correlates. This study supports differential diagnosis of MSA regardless of different patient populations, PET scanners and imaging protocols.
Faculty; Northwell Researcher
School of Medicine; Northwell Health