Functional changes in patients with internet addiction disclosed by adenosine stressed cerebral blood flow perfusion imaging 99mTc-ECD SPET (2016)

Hell J Nucl Med. 2016 Jun 22. pii: s002449910361.

Liu G1, Han L, Hu Y, Xiao J, Li Y, Tan H, Zhang Y, Cheng D, Shi H.



To investigate the abnormal cerebral blood flow (CBF) perfusion in patients with internet addiction (IA) and its possible association with IA severity.


Thirty-five adolescents who met the criteria for IA and 12 matched healthy volunteers were recruited for 99mTc-ethylcysteinate dimer based CBF perfusion imaging with single photon emission tomography (SPET) both at rest and in adenosine-stressed state. Regional CBF (rCBF) was measured and compared between IA subjects and the controls. Correlation analysis between those abnormal rCBF in adenosine-stressed state and the duration of IA was performed.


At the resting state, the IA individuals showed significantly increased rCBF in the left mid-frontal gyrus and left angular gyrus, but significantly decreased in the left paracentral lobule, compared to the controls. In adenosine-stressed state, more cerebral regions with abnormal rCBF were identified. Specifically, increased rCBF was identified in the right paracentral lobule, right mid-frontal gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus, while decreased rCBF were demonstrated in right transverse temporal gyrus, left inferior frontal gyrus and left precuneus. Those rCBF in rCBF-increased regions in stress state were positively correlated with the duration of IA, while those in rCBF-decreased regions were negatively correlated with the duration of IA.


We present specific functional changes in behaviour that may appear in IA patients related to the CBF findings in IA patients. Adenosine can be used as a pharmacological agent for stress CBF perfusion imaging in patients with IA, by which more cerebral regions of abnormal rCBF can be identified compared to the state at rest. These abnormal rCBF may indicate the neurological mechanism in IA patients.