Local cerebral glucose metabolic rates in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Patients treated with clomipramine

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990 Sep;47(9):840-8. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810210048007.


In a recent study, we reported abnormal local cerebral glucose metabolic rates in the orbital frontal cortex of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Eight patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder scanned previously were scanned again during treatment with the tricyclic antidepressant clomipramine hydrochloride. Comparisons of local cerebral glucose metabolic rates for both groups showed a relative decrease in regions of the orbital frontal cortex and the left caudate, and an increase in other areas of the basal ganglia, including the right anterior putamen. When comparing patients who responded well to clomipramine with those who were either poor or partial responders, we found significant decreases only in the left caudate of patients who responded well to the drug. The present study suggests that clomipramine-induced improvement in obsessive-compulsive symptoms is associated with a return of regional brain metabolism to a more normal level in regions of the orbital frontal cortex and the caudate nucleus.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Basal Ganglia / drug effects
  • Basal Ganglia / metabolism
  • Brain / drug effects
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Caudate Nucleus / drug effects
  • Caudate Nucleus / metabolism
  • Clomipramine / pharmacology
  • Clomipramine / therapeutic use
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Frontal Lobe / drug effects
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / metabolism*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose
  • Clomipramine