Background: Abnormal left/right (L/R) hemispheric ratios of regional cerebral glucose metabolic rates (rCMRglc) (hippocampus and inferior prefrontal cortex) have been noted in unmedicated panic disorder patients. Methods: An independent group of panic disorder patients placed on imipramine was studied with positron-emission tomography, testing for evidence of normalization versus persistence of the abnormal rCMRglc ratios. Differences in orbital frontal rCMRglc values between the imipramine-treated and the previously reported unmedicated panic disorder patients were tested examining for evidence that the differences would resemble those noted in obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) patients treated with clomipramine. Results: We found the same abnormally low L/R hippocampal and posterior inferior prefrontal rCMRglc ratios in the imipramine-treated panic disorder patients. In addition, we found posterior orbital frontal rCMRglc decreases in the imipramine-treated panic disorder patients compared with the unmedicated panic disorder patients. Conclusions: These abnormal asymmetries found in unmedicated panic disorder patients and now in imipramine-treated panic disorder patients may reflect a trait abnormality. The orbital frontal rCMRglc differences between the imipramine-treated and unmedicated patients are similar to changes noted in OCD patients treated with clomipramine and may reflect direct or indirect effects of imipramine treatment in panic disorder patients.
- Hemispheric asymmetries
- Panic disorder
- Regional cerebral glucose metabolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biological Psychiatry