Cerebral blood flow changes in patients with conversion disorder

Psychiatry Res. 1998 Sep 28;83(3):163-8. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4927(98)00039-0.


We evaluated regional cerebral blood flow in five patients with conversion disorder (three females, two males, mean age+/-S.D.: 29.8+/-9.5 years) with astasia-abasia. The patients underwent single photon emission computed tomography after the injection of 555 MBq of [99mTc]hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime. Uptake ratios between areas of decreased perfusion and normal brain regions were considered significantly decreased when there was a change > or = 10%. Four of the five patients had left temporal and one patient had left parietal perfusion decreases. Uptake ratios ranged from 0.72 to 0.88 (mean+/-S.D.: 0.81+/-0.08). Our findings suggest that alterations in regional brain perfusion may accompany conversion symptoms. Functional imaging may therefore offer a means of elucidating the neural correlates of conversion disorder.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / blood supply*
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Conversion Disorder / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dominance, Cerebral / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parietal Lobe / blood supply
  • Parietal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
  • Temporal Lobe / blood supply
  • Temporal Lobe / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime