Urinary 3-Methoxy-4-Hydroxyphenylglycol and Major Affective Disorders: A Replication and New Findings

Giovanni Muscettola, William Z. Potter, David Pickar, Frederick K. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


We studied group and subgroup differences in urinary 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG) levels in patients with major affective disorder (66 depressed, 13 manic) and normal volunteers (27 subjects). Bipolar I depressed patients excreted less MHPG than unipolar depressed patients, manic patients, or normal volunteers. The mean (±SEM) MHPG excretion rate was 1.44±0.10 mg/day in 19 depressed bipolar I patients, 1.79±0.11 mg/day in 28 unipolar depressed patients, 2.11±0.19 mg/day in 13 manic patients, and 1.85±0.12 mg/day in 27 normal volunteers. Other sources of variance that affected urinary MHPG levels did not explain subgroup or state differences. There was only a trend for a low pretreatment MHPG level to be associated with positive response to imipramine hydrochloride or desipramine hydrochloride in the 19 patients treated with these drugs. The application of this biological test value for prediction of differential response to antidepressant drugs would therefore seem premature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-342
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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