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Neuropsychopharmacology. 1994 Feb;10(1):21-8.

Positron-emission tomography and personality disorders.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Case Western Reserve University Medical School, Cleveland, Ohio.


This study used positron-emission tomography to examine cerebral metabolic rates of glucose (CMRG) in 17 patients with DSM III-R diagnoses of personality disorder. Within the group of 17 personality disorder patients, there was a significant inverse correlation between a life history of aggressive impulse difficulties and regional CMRG in the frontal cortex of the transaxial plane approximately 40 mm above the canthomeatal line (CML) (r = -.56, p = 0.17). Diagnostic groups included antisocial (n = 6), borderline (n = 6), dependent (n = 2), and narcissistic (n = 3). Regional CMRG in the six antisocial patients and in the six borderline patients was compared to a control group of 43 subjects using an analysis of covariance with age and sex as covariates. In the borderline personality disorder group, there was a significant decrease in frontal cortex metabolism in the transaxial plane approximately 81 mm above the CML and a significant increase in the transaxial plane approximately 53 mm above the CML (F[1,45] = 8.65, p = .005; and F[1,45] = 7.68, p = .008, respectively.

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