The concentration of neurotransmitter metabolites in the cerebrospinal fluid of suicidal individuals: a meta-analysis

Pharmacopsychiatry. 1995 Mar;28(2):45-50. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-979587.


A review of 27 research reports on the cerebrospinal fluid levels of neurotransmitter metabolites involving 1202 psychiatric patients found strong evidence for the involvement of the serotonin system in suicidal behavior. Attempted suicides, especially those using violent methods, had lower levels of CSF 5-HIAA as compared to psychiatric controls, and those making subsequent suicidal actions also had lower levels of CSF 5-HIAA. The meta-analysis permitted more reliable conclusions to be drawn than did each individual study alone.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Homovanillic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Humans
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Neurotransmitter Agents / cerebrospinal fluid*
  • Suicide*
  • Suicide, Attempted
  • Violence


  • Neurotransmitter Agents
  • Methoxyhydroxyphenylglycol
  • Hydroxyindoleacetic Acid
  • Homovanillic Acid