Dexamethasone Suppression Test in Children with Major Depressive Disorder

BORIS BIRMAHER, NEAL D. RYAN, RONALD DAHL, HARRIS RABINOVICH, PAUL AMBROSINI, DOUGLAS E. WILLIAMSON, HANA NOVACENKO, BEVERLY NELSON, EE SING LO, JOAQUIM PUIG-ANTICH

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Abstract

The authors report a study of 24-hour serial cortisol determinations, measured during baseline and after the administration of 0.25 and 0.5 mg of dexamethasone in a sample of predominantly outpatient children with major depressive disorder, nonaffective psychiatric controls, and normal controls. In this sample, 24-hour baseline cortisol and the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) do not discriminate between the three groups. In addition, the authors measured 24-hour serum dexamethasone levels. There were no significant between group differences in serum dexamethasone. These results raise questions as to the utility of this test in the diagnosis of affective disorders in children. Possible reasons for the discrepancies in the dexamethasone suppression test results between in- and outpatient studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)291-297
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume31
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

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Keywords

  • children
  • cortisol
  • depression
  • dexamethasone suppression test
  • serum dexamethasone levels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

BIRMAHER, BORIS., RYAN, NEAL. D., DAHL, RONALD., RABINOVICH, HARRIS., AMBROSINI, PAUL., WILLIAMSON, DOUGLAS. E., NOVACENKO, HANA., NELSON, BEVERLY., LO, EE. SING., & PUIG-ANTICH, JOAQUIM. (1992). Dexamethasone Suppression Test in Children with Major Depressive Disorder. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31(2), 291-297. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-199203000-00017