Cerebral glucose metabolism in childhood-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder. Revisualization during pharmacotherapy

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1992 Sep;49(9):690-4. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1992.01820090018003.


To investigate the effects of drug treatment in childhood-onset obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), we repeated positron emission tomographic scans in 13 adults with OCD (eight taking clomipramine, two taking fluoxetine, and three taking no drug) after at least 1 year of pharmacotherapy. As a group, the patients had a significant improvement on all OCD and anxiety ratings. Positron emission tomography revealed a significant decrease in normalized orbitofrontal regional cerebral glucose metabolism (relative to global metabolism) bilaterally. Among the treated patients, the decrease in right orbitofrontal metabolism was directly correlated with two measures of OCD improvement. These results extend previous positron emission tomographic findings of regional dysfunction in OCD and suggest involvement of the orbitofrontal regions in the pathophysiology of OCD.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain / physiopathology
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiopathology
  • Clomipramine / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Functional Laterality
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / metabolism*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / physiopathology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Fluoxetine
  • Glucose
  • Clomipramine