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Reduced CSF concentrations of homovanillic acid and homovanillic acid to 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid ratios in depressed patients: relationship to suicidal behavior and dexamethasone nonsuppression
Am J Psychiatry 1986;143:1539-1545.
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Abstract

Depressed patients who had attempted suicide (N = 19) had significantly lower CSF homovanillic acid (HVA) levels than patients who had not attempted suicide (N = 8) and control subjects (N = 41). Intergroup levels of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) were not significantly different. The ratio of CSF HVA to CSF 5-HIAA was significantly lower in both patient groups than in control subjects, and patients who had attempted suicide had CSF HVA/5-HIAA ratios that were nearly 50% those of the control subjects. The combinations of nonsuppression on the dexamethasone suppression test and either a low CSF HVA level or a low CSF HVA/5-HIAA ratio were significantly more common among patients who had attempted suicide than among those who had not.

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