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Differences in Whole Blood Serotonin Levels Based on a Typology of Parasuicide

Rilke O. · Safar C. · Israel M. · Barth T. · Felber W. · Jochen Oehler J.
Department of Psychiatry, Carl Gustav Carus Hospital, Technical University of Dresden, Germany Neuropsychobiology 1998;38:70–72 (DOI:10.1159/000026519)


Suicidal behavior has to be considered as a multifactorial phenomenon, which can be analyzed in a classifying-phenomenological manner. We have examined the relation of parasuicide typology to whole blood concentrations of serotonin, HVA, and tryptophan in 58 patients classified into 4 groups of parasuicide typology compared to 22 nonsuicidal depressed patients and 20 healthy subjects. Suicidal patients classified as impetuous, desperate and ambivalent types had significantly reduced whole blood 5-HT levels in comparison with the appealing type as well as nonsuicidal subjects. No differences were detected in the HVA content, but whole blood tryptophan concentrations were significantly reduced in impetuous suicidal patients and depressed patients compared to healthy subjects. This study provides evidence for reduced whole blood serotonin content based on different types of parasuicide.


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