Assessment of [11C]-L-methionine transport into the human brain

L. A. O'Tuama, T. R. Guilarte, K. H. Douglass, H. N. Wagner, D. F. Wong, R. F. Dannals, H. T. Ravert, A. A. Wilson, N. D. LaFrance, A. N. Bice, J. M. Links

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neutral amino acid transport into human brain was measured using a dual-probe positron detection system or positron emission tomography (PET). Rate constants (ml/min/cc) for brain accumulation of [11C]L-methionine measured with the dual detector ranged from 0.012 to 0.078 (average 0.031) under baseline conditions and from 0.010 to 0.017 (average 0.014) after administration of nonradioactive L-phenylalanine (100 mg/kg). The net rate of brain accumulation of L-methionine ranged from 0.42 to 2.89 (average 1.28) nmol/min/cc, and decreased by 27.5-91.2% (average 53.9%) after L-phenylalanine. PET-estimated accumulation rates (ml/min/cc) of [11C]L-methionine ranged from 0.004 to 0.028 (average 0.016) baseline and from 0.010 to 0.021 (average 0.017) after L-phenylalanine. Initial volumes of distribution (ml/cc) of [11C]L-methionine (dual detector) were 0.044-0.070 (average 0.058) baseline and 0.032-0.074 (average 0.051) after phenylalanine and (PET) 0.026-0.098 (average 0.051) baseline and 0.021-0.061 (average 0.042) after phenylalanine. PET permits more accurate measurement of tracer accumulation by brain, excluding noncerebral regions included in dual-detector measurements. The dual-detector system permits better temporal resolution, facilitating kinetic analysis, and requires only one-for tieth the dose of tracer needed for PET. Multiple studies in the same patients are thus possible at low cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-345
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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