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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter July 1, 2012

Visualization of painful process in peripheral tissue using positron emission tomography and [11C]-D-deprenyl

  • Mikko Aarnio , Lieuwe Appel , Mats Fredrikson , Torsten Gordh , Olof Wolf and Clas Linnman



An objective correlate of ongoing painful process in peripheral tissue would represent a progress in the analysis of pain. The aim of this study was to investigate if the extent of the injury and inflammation in musculoskeletal injuries can be visualized, quantified and followed over time using positron emission tomography (PET) with the radioligand [11C]-D-deprenyl.


Eight otherwise healthy patients with unilateral ankle sprain were PET-imaged acutely and followed up twice, first a month and then up to over one year after injury.


Acutely [11C]-D-deprenyl uptake was significantly increased by a factor 10.7 (range 2.9–37.3) in the injury sites as compared to the intact ankle. During healing [11C]-D-deprenyl uptake was reduced, but not normalized until after 11 months.


Patients experiencing persistent pain showed prolonged [11C]-D-deprenyl uptake in the injury sites. Thus, PET can be used to visualize, quantify and follow painful processes in peripheral tissue.

Published Online: 2012-07-01
Published in Print: 2012-07-01

© 2012 Scandinavian Association for the Study of Pain

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