Predictive value of brain perfusion SPECT for ketamine response in hyperalgesic Fibromyalgia

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[Note: The drug ketamine has been tried for relief of Fibromyalgia pain, with different results for different patients. "Hyperalgesic" is defined as heightened response to painful stimuli.]

Journal: European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging. 2007 Mar 13; [E-publication ahead of print]

Authors and affiliation: Guedj E, Cammilleri S, Colavolpe C, Taieb D, de Laforte C, Niboyet J, Mundler O. Service Central de Biophysique et de Medecine Nucleaire, Assistance Publique des Hopitaux de Marseille, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire de la Timone, Marseille, France. [E-mail: eric.guedj@ap-hm.fr ]

PMID: 17431615

Purpose: Ketamine has been used successfully in various proportions of Fibromyalgia (FM) patients. However, the response to this specific treatment remains largely unpredictable. We evaluated brain SPECT perfusion before treatment with ketamine, using voxel-based analysis. The objective was to determine the predictive value of brain SPECT for ketamine response.

Methods: Seventeen women with FM (48 +/- 11 years; ACR criteria) were enrolled in the study. Brain SPECT was performed before any change was made in therapy in the pain care unit. We considered that a patient was a good responder to ketamine if the VAS score for pain decreased by at least 50% after treatment. A voxel-by-voxel group analysis was performed using SPM2, in comparison to a group of ten healthy women matched for age.

Results: The VAS score for pain was 81.8 +/- 4.2 before ketamine and 31.8 +/- 27.1 after ketamine. Eleven patients were considered "good responders" to ketamine. Responder and non-responder subgroups were similar in terms of pain intensity before ketamine. In comparison to responding patients and healthy subjects, non-responding patients exhibited a significant reduction in bilateral perfusion of the medial frontal gyrus. This cluster of hypoperfusion was highly predictive of non-response to ketamine (positive predictive value 100%, negative predictive value 91%).

Conclusion: Brain perfusion SPECT may predict response to ketamine in hyperalgesic FM patients.

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