Use of the dexamethasone suppression test using DSM-III criteria on an inpatient psychiatric unit

D. L. Evans, C. B. Nemeroff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors report here our clinical experience with the DST (dexamethasone suppression test) in a nonresearch setting. In an effort to assess the potential clinical utility of the DST they administered the DST to 21 consecutively admitted patients to the general psychiatry ward who met DSM-III criteria for major depression and to seven patients with depressive symptoms who did not meet criteria for major depression but who met DSM-III criteria (APA, 1980) for other diagnoses ('secondary depression'). The present study confirms and extends previous reports of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyperactivity in a large percentage of depressed patients as evidenced by lack of suppression of serum cortisol levels after orally administered dexamethasone. An abnormal DST was seen in 71% of patients with a DSM-III diagnosis of major depression. This was a significantly higher incidence when compared to patients with depressive symptoms with other DSM-III diagnoses (secondary depression).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-511
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume18
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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