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Am J Psychiatry. 1988 Jun;145(6):733-6.

Epinephrine infusions in patients with social phobia.

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  • 1Biological Studies Unit, New York State Psychiatric Institute, NY 10032.


To assess the role of peripheral epinephrine in social anxiety, the authors infused 11 patients meeting DSM-III criteria for social phobia with intravenous epinephrine over 60 minutes. Although the mean plasma epinephrine level increased from 113 to 928 pg/ml, only one of the 11 patients experienced observable anxiety; this finding suggests that an increase in plasma epinephrine level alone is inadequate to cause social anxiety. Of the variables measured, only the average minute volume correlated with self-rated anxiety. Ventilatory indexes might be better correlates of subjective anxiety than other physiological variables.

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