Left prefrontal glucose hypometabolism in the depressed state: a confirmation

Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Oct;147(10):1313-7. doi: 10.1176/ajp.147.10.1313.


The resting-state cerebral metabolic rates for glucose of 10 severely depressed patients (seven bipolar and three unipolar) were compared, before and after treatment with tricyclic antidepressants, to those of 10 control subjects of similar age by means of positron emission tomography and the fluorodeoxyglucose method. Significant left-right prefrontal asymmetry was present in the patients before but not after successful treatment, suggesting that medication can reduce this asymmetry. Also, significant hypofrontality and whole-cortex hypometabolism were found in the patients in the depressed state and persisted in the treated state, despite clinical improvement, suggesting that these abnormalities are not state dependent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic / therapeutic use
  • Bipolar Disorder / diagnosis
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy
  • Bipolar Disorder / metabolism
  • Cerebral Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Cerebral Cortex / metabolism
  • Deoxyglucose / analogs & derivatives
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder / metabolism
  • Female
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Frontal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed


  • Antidepressive Agents, Tricyclic
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose