Brain white-matter hyperintensities and treatment outcome in major depressive disorder

Dan V. Iosifescu, Perry F. Renshaw, In Kyoon Lyoo, Ho Kyu Lee, Roy H. Perlis, George I. Papakostas, Anderw A. Nierenberg, Maurizio Fava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Background: An increased incidence of brain white-matter hyperintensities has been described in major depressive disorder, but the impact of such hyperintensities on treatment outcome is still controversial. Aims: To investigate the relationship of brain white-matter hyperintensities with cardiovascular risk factors and with treatment outcome in younger people with major depressive disorder. Method: We assessed brain white-matter hyperintensities and cardiovascular risk factors in 84 people with major depressive disorder prior to initiating antidepressant treatment. We also assessed hyperintensities in 35 matched controls. Results: We found no significant difference in the prevalence of white-matter hyperintensities between the depression and the control groups. Left-hemisphere subcortical hyperintensities correlated with lower rates of treatment response. We found no correlation between global hyperintensity measures and clinical outcome. Brain white-matter hyperintensities correlated with hypertension and age and with total cardiovascular risk score. Conclusions: Subcortical white-matter hyperintensities inthe left hemisphere (but not in other brain areas) may be associated with poor response to antidepressant treatment in major depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-185
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberFEB.
StatePublished - Feb 2006


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