Elevated striatal dopamine transporters during acute cocaine abstinence as measured by [123I]β-CIT SPECT

Robert T. Malison, Susan E. Best, Christopher H. Van Dyck, Elinore F. McCance, Elizabeth A. Wallace, Marc Lamelle, R. M. Baldwin, John P. Seibyl, Lawrence H. Price, Thomas R. Kosten, Robert B. Innis

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146 Scopus citations


Objective: The authors examined whether striatal dopamine transporters were altered in acutely (96 hours or less) abstinent cocaine-abusing subjects, as suggested by postmortem studies. Method: [123I]β-CIT and single photon emission computed tomography were used to assess striatal dopamine transporter levels in 28 cocaine-abusing subjects and 24 comparison subjects matched as a group for age and gender. Results: Results showed a significant (approximately 20%) elevation in striatal V3' values in acutely abstinent cocaine-abusing subjects relative to comparison subjects. An inverse correlation between dopamine transporter level and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score was also observed. Conclusions: These findings indicate more modest elevations in striatal dopamine transporters in cocaine- abusing subjects than noted in previous postmortem reports and suggest a possible relationship between cocaine-related depression and dopamine transporter binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)832-834
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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