99mTc-HMPAO is a well-established isotope useful in the detection of regional cerebral blood flow. Diabetes gives rise to arterial atherosclerotic changes that can lead to significant end organ dysfunction, prominently affecting perfusion to the heart, kidneys, eyes and brain. In the current study, we investigated the role of 99mTc-HMPAO cerebral perfusion scans in detecting early vascular changes in the diabetic brain.
Cerebral perfusion studies were performed on both control and streptozotocin-(STZ) induced diabetic male Wistar rats. Rat brain imaging using a gamma camera was performed for each group 0.5, 2, 4, and 24 hours post 99mTc-HMPAO injection. Data processing for each cerebral perfusion scan was performed by drawing a region of interest (ROI) circumferentially around the brain (B). Background (BKG) due to signal from the soft tissue of each rat was subtracted. Brain 99mTc-HMPAO uptake minus background counts (net brain counts; NBC) were then compared between the two groups.
The NBC (mean ± SD) for the STZ group were statistically significantly higher (p = 0.0004) than those of the control group at each of the time points studied.
99mTc-HMPAO brain scan may be useful in the detection of early atherosclerotic changes in the diabetic rat brain.