Send to

Choose Destination
Neuropsychobiology. 2007;56(2-3):119-22. doi: 10.1159/000112953. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

Relationship between nocturnal urinary cortisol excretion and symptom severity in subgroups of patients with depressive episodes.

Author information

Okumenisches Hainich-Klinikum, Mühlhausen, Germany.



The aim of this naturalistic study was to gain more information about the elevation of basal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity in relationship to symptom severity in specific subtypes of depressive episodes.


Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores and aggregated nocturnal urinary cortisol excretion were measured in 4 groups of inpatients with depressive episodes (n = 48; monopolar nonpsychotic, monopolar psychotic, bipolar nonpsychotic and bipolar psychotic) at the beginning and at the end of inpatient treatment.


The initial elevation of nocturnal urinary cortisol excretion was most pronounced in psychotic patients. At the end of treatment, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale scores had decreased significantly in all patients to comparable levels, whereas the nocturnal cortisol excretion values were still relatively elevated in mono- and bipolar psychotic patients compared to mono- and bipolar nonpsychotic ones.


The observation that the basal HPA activity remains elevated even after remission of symptoms in patients with psychotic depression supports the concept that a dysfunctional regulation of the HPA system is possibly a trait- rather than a state-related feature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for S. Karger AG, Basel, Switzerland
Loading ...
Support Center