Clinical trials-major depression venlafaxine or bupropion responders but not nonresponders show baseline prefrontal and paralimbic hypometabolism compared with controls

John T. Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this study, 11 unipolar depressed outpatients received baseline (medication-free) fluorine-18 deoxyglucose positron emission tomography scans prior to randomization to double-blind venlafaxine or bupropion monotherapy, with the option of a subsequent medication crossover. Based on Clinical Global Impressions ratings, 6 of 11 responded to at least one medication. Regional cerebral glucose metabolic rate (rCMRglu) for these 6 responders was compared with 18 age- and gender-matched healthy controls; the 5 nonresponders were compared with 15 matched healthy controls. Compared with healthy controls, responders showed decreased (normalized > absolute) left middle frontal gyral, bilateral medial prefrontal, and bilateral temporal rCMRglu. In contrast, nonre sponders showed decreased (normalized > absolute) cerebellar rCMRglu. These preliminary data suggest that among never-hospitalized unipolar depressed outpatients, those showing baseline prefrontal and paralimbic hypometabolism may be more likely to show a positive response to standard antidepressant treatments such as venlafaxine or bupropion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-635
Number of pages7
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996



  • Bupropion
  • Cerebral glucose metabolism
  • Depression
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Venlafaxine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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