Effects of meta-chlorophenylpiperazine on cerebral blood flow in obsessive-compulsive disorder and controls

KLH Pian, HGM Westenberg*, JA den Boer, WI de Bruin, PP van Rijk

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    27 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: A number of studies have shown that the serotonin receptor agonist meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (mCPP) can exacerbate symptoms in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), The aim of the present study was to study the effect of this compound on regional cerebral bloodflow (rCBF) in patients and controls.

    Methods: Seven OCD patients and 8 healthy controls were randomly allocated to a double-blind challenge study with mCPP (0.5 mg/kg orally). rCBF was measured by (99m)-Tc-hexamethyl-propyleneamineoxime single photon emission computed tomography.

    Results: mCPP did not induce OCD symptoms in patients, but caused a significant decrease in rCBF in OCD patients, but not in controls. The decrease was seen in the reference regions cerebellum and whole brain, and in the frontal cortex, caudate nucleus, putamen, and thalamus.

    Conclusions: The effect of mCPP on the reference regions in patients posed methodological problems in the normalization methods. A possible role of the cerebellum in OCD is discussed. (C) 1998 Society of Biological Psychiatry.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)367-370
    Number of pages4
    JournalBiological Psychiatry
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-1998


    • obsessive-compulsive disorder
    • meta-chlorophenylpiperazine
    • single photon emission computed tomography
    • cerebral blood flow
    • cerebellum
    • symptom provocation

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