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The TRH-stimulation test in DSM-III personality disorder

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      Abstract

      The authors examined thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulation testing in the neuroendocrine evaluation of DSM-III major depressive disorder in 26 consecutive medication-free, medically healthy patients meeting a primary DSM-III diagnosis of axis II personality disorder. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) responses to TRH challenge were not significantly different between patients with or without major depression at time of study, or between patients with or without a life history of major affective disorder. Further, TSH responses to TRH among 11 healthy male nonpsychiatric controls were not significantly different from those in patients with personality disorders. Comparison of those patients with blunted TSH responses (<7.0 μU/ml) versus those without blunted response (≤7.0 μU/ml) also did not reveal a significant difference. In addition, the TSH response to TRH did not correlate with dimensional assessments of state or trait depression, anxiety, or with past history of suicide attempt or alcohol abuse. These data suggest that TRH stimulation testing has limited utility in the evaluation of major depression or other relevant affective states/traits in personality-disordered patients. Affective symptoms in personality-disordered patients do not seem to be associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis.

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