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Kevin Noll

How reliable are DaTscan?

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I have always had tremors and age 50 they have became worse. Every Neurologist I have ever went to said that I did not have Parkinson's. I found out the DaTscan and I convinced my Neurologist to give me a script. I got the insurance approval and got it done. The doctor read the scan as follows:


Clinical Information: This patient is a 50--year-old male who has the diagnosis of tremor and a DaTscan was ordered to help differentiate between a parkinsonian syndrome and an essential tremor. He has had tremors, mainly of the upper extremities, which have become worse over the last year, with the tremor more intense in the left hand than in the right hand.


 The DaTscan protocol was followed. The patient was given a 100 mg iodine p.o. in the form of KI and 1 hour later received DaTscan intravenously in an arm  vein. the tracer was flushed with normal saline. Four hours later SPECT imaging of the brain was done. Tomographic slices of the brain were reviewed.​


Images of the striatum are abnormal, as follows. The striatum normally has a coma shape on both the left and right (normal tracer uptake in the caudate and in the putamen).  However in this patient there is decreased intensity of the tracer in the posterior part of the comma bilaterally , and there is asymmetry with the head of the comma less intense on the right than on the left.



​1) Abnormal DaTscan. There is abnormal tracer uptake in the striatum which suggest that the patient's tremor is due to a parkinsonian syndrome rather than due essential tremor.


When I spoke with my Neurologist she spoke of a false positive reading and she thought I still do not have Parkinson's.  Are there false positives with the DaTscan and if so what would be another test.



Kevin Noll




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There can be false positives and you may want to get a movement disorders specialist to see you, but bring the scan on a CD so he/she can examine you and also see the actual scan.  Based on the above it would be very suspicious for PD or some sort of parkinsonism.

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