Prediction of short-term changes in symptom severity by baseline plasma homovanillic acid levels in schizophrenic patients receiving clozapine

Tomiki Sumiyoshi*, Mitsuru Hasegawa, Karuna Jayathilake, Herbert Y. Meltzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between pretreatment levels of plasma homovanillic acid (pHVA) and the outcome of dozapine treatment was studied in 18 male patients with schizophrenia who were resistant to treatment with conventional neuroleptics. After 6 months of clozapine treatment, 7 patients demonstrated ≤20% decrease in the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) (responders), while 11 patients did not (non-responders). Responders and non-responders did not differ with respect to the baseline pHVA level. The BPRS Positive Symptom scores at 6 weeks and 3 months, but not those at baseline and 6 months, following initiation of clozapine treatment negatively correlated with pHVA levels for all patients. The correlations became stronger when only responders were included. No significant correlation between Positive Symptom scores and pHVA levels was observed for non-responders. The BPRS Total and Negative Symptom scores did not correlate with pHVA for all patients, responders or non-responders at any time. The percent decrease in the BPRS Positive Symptom scores from baseline at 6 weeks following clozapine treatment correlated significantly with pHVA levels in responders. These results suggest that pretreatment levels of pHVA can be used to predict relatively short-term changes in the positive symptoms of patients with schizophrenia receiving clozapine treatment, particularly for clozapine responders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume69
Issue number2-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 24 1997

Keywords

  • Clozapine responders and non-responders
  • Positive symptoms
  • Schizophrenia
  • Treatment response
  • pHVA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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