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Biol Psychiatry. 1985 Nov;20(11):1156-60.

Reversal of abnormal dexamethasone suppression test in alcoholics abstinent for four weeks.


Fourteen of 64 alcoholic inpatients (22%) showed a nonsuppression postdexamethasone response when tested between the second and fifth days of admission. No association with alterations of hepatic enzymes (GGT, SGOT, SGPT) was observed. At retest (in the fourth week of abstinence), no abnormal response to the Dexamethasone Suppression Test (DST) was detected. The nonsuppressor alcoholics did not meet the criteria for major depression according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC). The data indicate a lack of specificity of the DST for the diagnosis of depression in alcoholics during the first days of withdrawal.

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