Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Psychiatry. 1999 Apr;156(4):585-8.

Serial CSF corticotropin-releasing hormone levels and adrenocortical activity in combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder.

Author information

  • 1Psychiatry Service, Cincinnati VA Medical Center, OH, USA.

Erratum in

  • Am J Psychiatry 1999 Jun;156(6):986.



The authors sought to carefully test, by using a technique of continuous CSF sampling, the hypothesis that basal elevations in CSF corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) concentrations exist in patients with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They also sought to assess the relationship among PTSD symptoms, adrenocortical activity, and CSF CRH levels.


CSF was withdrawn by means of a flexible, indwelling subarachnoid catheter over a 6-hour period, and hourly CSF concentrations of CRH were determined for 11 well-characterized combat veterans with PTSD and 12 matched normal volunteers. Twenty-four-hour urinary-free cortisol excretion was also determined. PTSD and depressive symptoms were correlated with the neuroendocrine data.


Mean CSF CRH levels were significantly greater in PTSD patients than in normal subjects (55.2 [SD = 16.4] versus 42.3 pg/ml [SD = 15.6]). No correlation was found between CSF CRH concentrations and PTSD symptoms. While there was no significant difference between groups in 24-hour urinary-free cortisol excretion, the correlation between 24-hour urinary-free cortisol excretion and PTSD symptoms was negative and significant.


By using a serial CSF sampling technique, the authors found high basal CSF CRH concentrations and normal 24-hour urinary-free cortisol excretion in combat veterans with PTSD, a combination that appears to be unique among psychiatric conditions studied to date.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Atypon
    Loading ...
    Support Center