The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology

The acute phase response in panic disorder

Andrés Herrán a1c1, Deirdre Sierra-Biddle a1, Maria Teresa García-Unzueta a2, Jesús Puente a3, José Luis Vázquez-Barquero a1 and José Antonio Amado a2
a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Cantabria, University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain
a2 Department of Endocrinology, University of Cantabria, University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain
a3 Department of Biochemistry, University of Cantabria, University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Santander, Spain

Article author query
herran a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sierra-biddle d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
garcia-unzueta mt   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
puente j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
vazquez-barquero jl   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
antonio amado j   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


An acute-phase response (APR), manifested as an increase of acute-phase proteins has been shown in major depression. Panic disorder (PD) may share some aetiopathogenic mechanisms with depression, but APR has not been studied in this disorder. Forty-one panic patients in the first stages of their illness were compared with 32 healthy subjects of comparable sex, age, and body mass index. Clinical diagnosis was established with the Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview, and severity with the Panic Disorder Severity Scale and the CGI scale. Laboratory determinations included four acute phase proteins (APPs) [albumin, gammaglobulins, fibrinogen, C-reactive-protein (CRP)] and basal cortisol level. Patients were studied after 8-wk follow-up taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to assess the evolution of the APPs. Gammaglobulin levels were lower, and both cortisol and CRP levels were higher in PD patients than in controls. APP did not differ between patients with or without agoraphobia. At follow-up, patients who responded to SSRIs presented a decrease in albumin levels, and a trend towards a decrease in cortisol and CRP compared with levels at intake. The conclusions of this study are that there is an APR in patients suffering from PD, and this APR tends to diminish after a successful treatment with SSRIs.

(Received July 25 2004)
(Reviewed December 26 2004)
(Revised January 10 2005)
(Accepted January 16 2005)

Key Words: Anxiety disorders; acute-phase proteins; acute-phase response; hypothalamo-hypophyseal system; panic disorder; serotonin uptake inhibitors.

c1 Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital Marqués de Valdecilla, Avda. de Valdecilla s/n, 39008, Santander, Spain. Tel.: +34 942-202545 Fax: +34 942-203447 E-mail:


1 Preliminary data of this work were presented as a communication at the European Certificate in Mood and Anxiety Disorders, Canterbury, Kent, UK, 2002.

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