The dexamethasone suppression test: identification of subtypes of depression
Department of Psychiatry
Medical Subject Headings
Adolescent; Adult; Aged; Bipolar Disorder; Depressive Disorder; Dexamethasone; Diagnosis, Differential; Female; Humans; Hydrocortisone; Male; Middle Aged
In this study mean 4 p.m. cortisol levels were significantly higher in patients with major depression than in control subjects or in patients with bipolar depression or dysthymic-related disorders. Moreover, the distribution of values differed significantly among groups. Eighteen of 45 patients with major depression had cortisol levels of 10 micrograms/dl or more, compared with 2 of 20 bipolar depressed patients and 0 of 31 controls. Patients with very high cortisol levels (15 micrograms/dl or more) tended to fulfill criteria for major depression with mood-congruent psychosis. The distribution of values in the major depression group also suggested the existence of three major subgroups. The authors discuss the implications of these data.
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Citation: Am J Psychiatry. 1983 Jan;140(1):88-91.
Schatzberg, Alan F.; Rothschild, Anthony J.; Stahl, Julie B.; Bond, Thomas C.; Rosenbaum, Alan H.; Lofgren, Sten B.; MacLaughlin, Robert A.; Sullivan, Mary A.; and Cole, Jonathan O., "The dexamethasone suppression test: identification of subtypes of depression" (1983). Psychiatry Publications and Presentations. 12.