OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was to determine whether regional cerebral blood flow in survivors of torture suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) differed significantly from that in healthy controls.
METHOD: We examined the cerebral regional distribution of 99m-technetium-hexamethylpropyleneamineoxime (HMPAO) using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in 8 patients and in 8 healthy controls. A semi-quantitative analysis was performed in which symmetrical regions of interest (ROI) were drawn in all subjects.
RESULTS: Regional blood flow was markedly more heterogeneous in patients suffering from PTSD than in healthy controls. The differences are significant.
CONCLUSION: Severe psychological trauma induced by torture can cause neurobiologic alterations that may contribute, even years after the original trauma, to a number of complaints commonly expressed by patients suffering from PTSD.
- Cerebrovascular Circulation/physiology
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic/diagnostic imaging
- Technetium Tc 99m Exametazime
- Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon