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PET Scan in Patients With Neurocardiologic Disorders

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) Identifier:
First received: November 3, 1999
Last updated: March 3, 2008
Last verified: August 2004

This study is designed to use PET scans in order to measure activity of the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the portion of the nervous system that maintains a normal supply of blood and fuel to organs during stressful situations.

PET scan or Positron Emission Tomography is an advanced form of an X-ray. It is used to detect radioactive substances in the body. During this study researchers plan to inject small amounts of the radioactive drug fluorodopamine into patients. Fluorodopamine is very similar to the chemicals found in the sympathetic nervous system. It can attach to sympathetic nerve endings and allow researchers to view them with the aid of a PET scan. One area of the body with many sympathetic nerve endings is the heart. After giving a dose of fluorodopamine, researchers will be able to visualize all of the sympathetic nerve endings involved in the activity of the heart. In addition, this diagnostic test will help researchers detect abnormalities of the nervous system of patient's hearts.

Autonomic Nervous System Diseases

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: Positron Emission Tomographic (PET) Scanning of Sympathetic Innervation and Function in Patients With Neurocardiologic Disorders

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 335
Study Start Date: July 1994
Estimated Study Completion Date: August 2004
Detailed Description:
This project applies positron emission tomographic (PET) scanning after administration of 6-[18F]fluorodopamine ([18F]-6F-DA) to visualize sympathetic innervation and function in patients with neurocardiologic disorders. Patients undergo infusion of [18F]-6F-DA, followed by PET scanning of one or more body regions. Patients may also undergo PET scanning after administration of [13N]-ammonia, to assess regional perfusion; regional blood sampling (including sampling from the coronary sinus or great cardiac vein) during infusion of [3H]-l-norepinephrine ([3H]-NE), to assess the kinetics and metabolism of NE; or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to delineate the ventricular myocardium. PET scanning after [18F]-6F-DA administration, in conjunction with other clinical assessment tools, should provide comprehensive information about regional sympathoneural innervation and function in neurocardiologic disorders.

Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes


The subjects are adult patients in one of the following diagnostic categories: coronary heart disease or chest pain and normal coronary arteries; myocardial dysfunction or failure; hypertension; or dysautonomia. Groups of appropriately matched healthy volunteers are studied concurrently as controls.


Minors are excluded.

Subjects in whom anatomic factors complicate vascular access are excluded.

Subjects who are not expected clinically to tolerate recumbency during the procedures are excluded.

Pregnant or lactating women are excluded.

Cardiology patients may be tested while off their usual medications. In this situation, the patients will be inpatients on the cardiology ward, managed clinically by staff of the Cardiology Branch, DIR, NHLBI. Hypertensives will be tested afer having discontinued anti-hypertensive medications for up to two weeks.

Patients who must take medications continually in the following categories are excluded: anticoagulants, tricyclic antidepressants, barbiturates, aspirin, acetaminophen.

Patients unable to discontinue nicotine or alcohol temporarily are excluded.

  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00001418

United States, Maryland
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
  More Information Identifier: NCT00001418     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 940186
Study First Received: November 3, 1999
Last Updated: March 3, 2008

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Sympathetic Nervous System
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome
Neurocardiogenic Syncope
Hypernoradrenergic Hypertension
Positron Emission Tomography
Neurocardiologic Disorder

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Nervous System Diseases
Autonomic Nervous System Diseases
Primary Dysautonomias processed this record on September 21, 2017