Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
J Psychiatr Res. 2011 Jun;45(6):735-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.11.016. Epub 2010 Dec 31.

Pretraumatic prolonged elevation of salivary MHPG predicts peritraumatic distress and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94121, USA. brigitte.apfel@ucsf.edu

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with elevated catecholamines and increased sympathetic arousal. However, it is unknown whether this condition is a pre-existing vulnerability factor for PTSD or an acquired result of either trauma exposure or the development of PTSD symptoms. We sought to examine if salivary 3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-phenylglycol (MHPG) in response to a laboratory stressor prior to critical incident exposure predicts the development of PTSD symptoms and if early childhood trauma influences this relationship. In a prospective cohort study, 349 urban police officers were assessed during academy training (baseline) and 243 were reassessed 12 months after the start of active duty (follow-up). At baseline, participants observed a video consisting of police critical incidents. Salivary MHPG was measured before and immediately after the challenge, and after 20min recovery. At follow-up, peritraumatic distress and PTSD symptoms were assessed in relationship to the worst critical incident during the past year. Participants with childhood trauma showed a trend towards higher MHPG increase to the challenge. Higher MHPG levels after 20min recovery were associated with both higher levels of peritraumatic distress and PTSD symptoms at follow-up. In a path analysis, elevated MHPG levels predicted higher peritraumatic distress which in turn predicted higher levels of PTSD symptoms while the direct effect of elevated MHPG levels on PTSD symptoms was no longer significant. Prolonged elevation of salivary MHPG in response to a laboratory stressor marks a predisposition to experience higher levels of peritraumatic distress and subsequently more PTSD symptoms following critical incident exposure.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21196013
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3095664
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk