Differentiation of depression from chronic pain with the dexamethasone suppression test and DSM-III.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The concept of chronic pain has become enmeshed with depression. In an attempt to unravel this complex relationship, the authors studied a uniform group of 42 patients with chronic pain, i.e., patients who had chronic low back pain with defined organic pathology, in relation to the dexamethasone suppression test (DST). The results were analyzed in relation to the presence or absence of major depression and cortisol suppression. Forty-one percent of the patients with major depression had abnormal cortisol responses to dexamethasone administration; all patients without major depression had normal responses. These results suggest that chronic pain patients differ from patients with major depression and a positive DST.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • France, RD; Krishnan, KR; Houpt, JL; Maltbie, AA

Published Date

  • December 1984

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 141 / 12

Start / End Page

  • 1577 - 1579

PubMed ID

  • 6239555

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-953X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1176/ajp.141.12.1577


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States