Evaluation of age and sex-related metabolic changes in healthy subjects: An italian brain 18f-fdg pet study

Michela Allocca, Marialuisa Allocca, Flavia Linguanti, Maria Lucia Calcagni, Angelina Cistaro, Valeria Gaudieri, Ugo Paolo Guerra, Silvia Morbelli, Flavio Nobili, Sabina Pappatà, Stelvio Sestini, Duccio Volterrani, Valentina Berti

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


Background: 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron-emission-tomography (PET) allows detection of cerebral metabolic alterations in neurological diseases vs. normal aging. We assess age-and sex-related brain metabolic changes in healthy subjects, exploring impact of activity normalization methods. Methods: brain scans of Italian Association of Nuclear Medicine normative database (151 subjects, 67 Males, 84 Females, aged 20–84) were selected. Global mean, white matter, and pons activity were explored as normalization reference. We performed voxel-based and ROI analyses using SPM12 and IBM-SPSS software. Results: SPM proved a negative correlation between age and brain glucose metabolism involving frontal lobes, anterior-cingulate and insular cortices bilaterally. Narrower clusters were detected in lateral parietal lobes, precuneus, temporal pole and medial areas bilaterally. Normalizing on pons activity, we found a more significant negative correlation and no positive one. ROIs analysis confirmed SPM results. Moreover, a significant age × sex interaction effect was revealed, with worse metabolic reduction in posterior-cingulate cortices in females than males, especially in post-menopausal age. Conclusions: this study demonstrated an age-related metabolic reduction in frontal lobes and in some parieto-temporal areas more evident in females. Results suggested pons as the most appropriate normalization reference. Knowledge of age-and sex-related cerebral metabolic changes is critical to correctly interpreting brain 18F-FDG PET imaging.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)4932-N/A
RivistaJournal of Clinical Medicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • 18F-FDG
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Brain
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose
  • Healthy aging
  • Menopause
  • PET imaging
  • Positron-emission tomography
  • Sex differences


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