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Eur Psychiatry. 2000 Aug;15(5):330-3.

Frequency of neuroleptic malignant syndrome in a large psychiatric hospital in Moscow.

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  • 1Research Unit, Ness Ziona Mental Health Center, POB 1, Ness Ziona 74100, Israel.


A ten-year prospective survey of neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS) was performed in a major psychiatric hospital (1,510 beds) in Moscow. All inpatients who developed a persistent and severe extrapyramidal rigidity accompanied by fever after exposure to neuroleptic medication were screened for NMS. The diagnosis of NMS was established according to Levenson's criteria and at a later stage all NMS cases were reevaluated using the DSM-IV research criteria. Data on age, gender and psychiatric diagnoses were analyzed. Of the 78,708 inpatients treated with neuroleptic agents, 19 separate patients had an episode of NMS, for a frequency of 0.02%. Mortality rate was 10.5% (2/19 patients). Of the three potential risk factors studied, only young age (</= 25 years) was significantly associated with an increased frequency of NMS (P < 0. 01). The low rate of NMS found here compared to studies in other countries may be due to the stringent demands for NMS diagnosis. More large-scale prospective studies including detailed clinical and laboratory data are needed to clarify these differences and their impact on the prevalence and risk factors of NMS.

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