To explore the hypothesis that depressed patients with low pretreatment
levels of urinary 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) respond more
favorably to antidepressant drugs which act on noradrenergic neuronal
systems than do patients with high MHPG levels, the authors administered
150--200 mg/day of imipramine or maprotiline to 13 depressed patients. All
of the 5 patients with low pretreatment MHPG levels responded to treatment
compared with 1 of the 14 patients with high MHPG levels; 4 patients
dropped out of the study.