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Biol Psychiatry. 1989 Oct;26(6):565-75.

Relationships between brain CT scan findings and cortisol in psychotic and nonpsychotic depressed patients.

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  • 1Affective Disease Program, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA 02178.


In this report, data are presented on pre- and postdexamethasone cortisol levels, neuropsychological testing, and computed tomography (CT) scan findings in 30 depressed patients (15 psychotic and 15 nonpsychotic). Particularly significant findings were observed when data from the unipolar subgroup (n = 22) were analyzed separately. Unipolar psychotic depressed patients had significantly larger (p less than 0.05) anterior pole and cella media ventricle-to-brain ratios (VBRs) and significantly greater (p less than 0.05) left and right inferior parietal brain "atrophy" than nonpsychotic depressed patients. Higher rates of Dexamethasone Suppression Test (DST) nonsuppression were observed in psychotic depressed patients and in patients with larger cella VBRs. Inferior parietal brain atrophy and large VBRs were also associated with greater cognitive impairment on psychometric testing. Implications of these findings are discussed.

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