Open Access Research article

A pattern of cerebral perfusion anomalies between Major Depressive Disorder and Hashimoto Thyroiditis

Maria Carolina Hardoy1*, Mariangela Cadeddu2, Alessandra Serra3, Maria Francesca Moro2, Gioia Mura2, Gisa Mellino2, Krishna M Bhat4, Gianmarco Altoé5, Paolo Usai3, Mario Piga3 and Mauro G Carta2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, Reald University, Vlore, Albania

2 Department of Public Health, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

3 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

4 Department of Neuroscience & Cell Biology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas, USA

5 Department of Psychology, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

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BMC Psychiatry 2011, 11:148  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-148

Published: 13 September 2011



This study aims to evaluate relationship between three different clinical conditions: Major Depressive Disorders (MDD), Hashimoto Thyroiditis (HT) and reduction in regional Cerebral Blood Flow (rCBF) in order to explore the possibility that patients with HT and MDD have specific pattern(s) of cerebral perfusion.


Design: Analysis of data derived from two separate data banks.

Sample: 54 subjects, 32 with HT (29 women, mean age 38.8 ± 13.9); 22 without HT (19 women, mean age 36.5 ± 12.25).

Assessment: Psychiatric diagnosis was carried out by Simplified Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDIS) using DSM-IV categories; cerebral perfusion was measured by 99 mTc-ECD SPECT. Statistical analysis was done through logistic regression.


MDD appears to be associated with left frontal hypoperfusion, left temporal hypoperfusion, diffuse hypoperfusion and parietal perfusion asymmetry. A statistically significant association between parietal perfusion asymmetry and MDD was found only in the HT group.


In HT, MDD is characterized by a parietal flow asymmetry. However, the specificity of rCBF in MDD with HT should be confirmed in a control sample with consideration for other health conditions. Moreover, this should be investigated with a longitudinally designed study in order to determine a possible pathogenic cause. Future studies with a much larger sample size should clarify whether a particular perfusion pattern is associated with a specific course or symptom cluster of MDD.