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Biol Psychiatry. 1989 Feb 1;25(3):296-304.

RBC lithium transport in the psychoses.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794-8101.


In vitro and in vivo red blood cell (RBC) lithium (Li+) intracellular/extracellular ratios were determined in 93 DSM-III schizophrenics (SCZ) in 47 DSM-III schizophreniform disorder patients (SF), in 22 DSM-III bipolar manics (M), in 15 affective disorders patients with mood-incongruent psychotic features (AD-MIP), and in 40 normal controls. There were no significant differences among groups in the in vitro Li+ ratio. Similarly, there was no significant difference among patient groups in the in vivo Li+ ratio. Furthermore, there was no significant difference in the mean Li+ ratios between the Li+-responsive and nonresponsive schizophrenic-like subjects. However, the distribution of Li+ ratios (both in vitro and in vivo) in the Li+-responsive group was significantly abnormal, showing more ratios in the extremes of the distribution (a platykurtic distribution).

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