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Petrowski, K.* ; Wintermann, G.B.* ; Schaarschmidt, M.* ; Bornstein, S.R.* ; Kirschbaum, C.*

Blunted salivary and plasma cortisol response in patients with panic disorder under psychosocial stress.

Int. J. Psychophysiol. 88, 35-39 (2013)
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Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
BACKGROUND: Panic disorder (PD) has been associated with an altered activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-cortical (HPA) axis. Recent findings from a patient sample with PD with secondary depression on psychotropic medication using salivary cortisol as outcome measure suggest a non-responsiveness of the HPA-axis under acute psychosocial stress. Salivary cortisol does not necessarily reflect the total plasma cortisol due to interfering variables. Whether the present findings can be replicated on a patient sample with pure PD using both salivary cortisol and total plasma cortisol as outcome variables remains to be elucidated. METHODS: For this study, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST) was implemented to assess the HPA-axis reactivity indicated by the plasma adreno-corticotropin-hormone (ACTH), plasma cortisol, and salivary cortisol release. The sample included 32 patients diagnosed with PD in a Structured Clinical Interview (SCID). Twelve male and fifteen female patients [mean age=32.87years, SD=11.23] were matched with 32 healthy controls by age and gender. RESULTS: The plasma ACTH, total plasma cortisol and salivary cortisol release increased significantly in both groups due to the psychosocial stress test. The patients with PD showed a decreased plasma and salivary cortisol response as compared to the healthy controls. Plasma cortisol and salivary cortisol were highly correlated in both groups. CONCLUSION: These findings provide strong evidence for a hypo-responsiveness of the HPA-axis as measured in both blood and saliva. Salivary and total plasma cortisol showed a strong concordance of results. Thus, future investigations could consider salivary cortisol as reliable marker of the HPA-axis under psychosocial stress.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0167-8760
e-ISSN 1872-7697
Quellenangaben Volume: 88, Issue: 1, Pages: 35-39 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher Elsevier
Publishing Place Amsterdam [u.a.]
Reviewing status Peer reviewed
Institute(s) Institute for Pancreatic Beta Cell Research (IPI)