Can loss of the swallow tail sign help distinguish between Parkinson Disease and the Parkinson-Plus syndromes?

Christopher Sami Oustwani, Alexander William Korutz, Malisa Siri Lester, Yasaman Kianirad, Tanya Simuni, Tarek Aref Hijaz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine if loss of the swallow tail sign (STS) can distinguish Parkinson Disease (PD) from the Parkinson-Plus syndromes. Methods Twenty-five patients with PD, 21 with Parkinson-Plus syndromes, and 14 control patients were included. Presence of the STS was assessed. Results The STS was present in 79% of controls, statistically greater than the PD/Parkinson-Plus patients. There was no difference in the presence of the STS between the PD/Parkinson-Plus subgroups or when scanning at 1.5 T or 3 T. Conclusions Loss of the STS could not distinguish between PD and Parkinson-Plus patients. The STS can be identified at both 1.5 T and 3 T.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Imaging
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017



  • Parkinson Disease
  • Parkinson Plus syndromes
  • Susceptibility weighted imaging
  • Swallow tail sign

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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