Reliability of striatal [ 11C]raclopride binding in smokers wearing transdermal nicotine patches

Karmen K. Yoder, Daniel S. Albrecht, David A. Kareken, Lauren M. Federici, Kevin M. Perry, Elizabeth A. Patton, Qi Huang Zheng, Bruce H. Mock, Sean J. O'Connor, Christine M. Herring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: In studies where [ 11C]raclopride (RAC) positron emission tomography (PET) is used to assess changes in striatal dopamine, it is important to control for cognitive states, such as drug craving, that could alter dopamine levels. In cigarette smokers, transdermal nicotine patches (TNP) can control nicotine craving, but the effects of nicotine patches on RAC binding are unknown. Thus, we sought to determine the test-retest reliability of RAC binding in the presence of nicotine patches. Methods: Eleven male smokers were scanned twice with RAC on separate days while wearing TNP. Results: Across the striatum, test-retest variability was 7.63±5.88; percent change in binding potential was 1.11±9.83; and the intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.91 (p<0.0001). Conclusion: Baseline RAC binding is highly reproducible in smokers wearing nicotine patches. This suggests that TNP are an acceptable method for controlling cigarette craving during studies that utilize RAC to examine changes in dopamine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-225
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2012


  • [ C]raclopride
  • D receptor
  • Dopamine
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Test-retest variability
  • Transdermal nicotine patch

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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