Impact of depressive mixed state in an emergency psychiatry setting: A marker of bipolar disorder and a possible risk factor for emergency hospitalization

Department of Neuropsychiatry, Ishikawa Prefectural Takamatsu Hospital, Ya-36, Uchi-Takamatsu, Kahoku City, Japan.
Journal of Affective Disorders (Impact Factor: 3.38). 04/2008; 111(1):52-60. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2008.02.009
Source: PubMed


Depressive mixed state (DMX) has been reported to be one of the most useful clinical markers for bipolar II disorder (BP-II) in the outpatient setting. However, the significance of DMX in emergency psychiatry has not been well studied.
A chart review study of 139 patients who were hospitalized in an emergency psychiatric ward with an initial diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD).
In 42 (30.2%) patients, the diagnosis was changed to bipolar disorder after a median observation period of 189 days from hospitalization, and of these, 34 were diagnosed as having BP-II. DMX was observed in 56 (40.3%) patients at the time of hospitalization. Compared with patients who remained in MDD, significantly more patients who later developed bipolar disorder had experienced DMX (59.5% vs. 32.0%, p = 0.0044). In multivariate analysis, DMX was one of the independent predictors of conversion to bipolar disorder (OR 2.45, p = 0.037), and the independent predictors for DMX were chronic depression and atypical features (OR 2.85, p = 0.010; OR 3.67, p = 0.046, respectively). In addition, DMX was significantly more frequently observed at emergency hospitalization than at non-emergency hospitalization (48.6% vs. 29.1%, p = 0.0065).
A single reviewer evaluated DMX by chart review.
DMX is a useful marker of bipolar disorder (mainly BP-II) in the emergency psychiatric setting and is closely related to emergency hospitalization for mood disorders. To confirm these findings, a prospective study that systematically evaluates DMX is needed.

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    • "The bipolar depression result agrees with the finding of the STEP-BD (Goldberg et al., 2007) that treatment with antidepressants leads to greater manic symptom severity in patients with bipolar depression and two or more concomitant manic symptoms. In addition, DMX is known to arise not only in patients with BP but also in approximately 30% of patients with depression who have no evident history of mania/ hypomania, i.e., patients with MDD (Akiskal and Benazzi, 2005; Takeshima et al., 2008). Moreover, high-suicide risk during DMX is not limited to patients with BP. "
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    ABSTRACT: Activation syndrome (AS) is a cluster of symptoms listed by the US Food and Drug Administration as possible suicidality precursors during antidepressant treatment. We aimed to clarify whether AS is associated with bipolar II disorder (BP-II) and its related disorder, i.e., bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS), which are often mistreated as major depressive disorder (MDD), as well as bipolar suggestive features in outpatients with depression. The frequency of AS, bipolar suggestive features, and background variables in consecutive outpatients with a major depressive episode (MDE) due to BP-II/BP-NOS or MDD, who were naturalistically treated with antidepressants, were investigated and analyzed retrospectively. Of 157 evaluable patients (46 BP-II/BP-NOS, 111 MDD), 39 (24.8%) experienced AS. Patients with BP-II/BP-NOS experienced AS significantly more frequently than patients with MDD (52.2% of BP-II/BP-NOS vs. 13.5% of MDD, p<0.01). Univariate analysis revealed that BP-II/BP-NOS diagnosis, cyclothymic temperament, early age at onset of first MDE, psychiatric comorbidities, and depressive mixed state (DMX) were significantly associated with AS development in the entire sample. Multivariate analysis revealed that BP-II/BP-NOS diagnosis and DMX were independent risk factors for AS. This is a retrospective and naturalistic study; therefore, patient selection bias could have occurred. Cautious monitoring of AS is needed during antidepressant trials in patients with BP-II/BP-NOS. Clinicians should re-evaluate underlying bipolarity when they confront AS. Antidepressants should be avoided for treating a current DMX beyond the unipolar-bipolar dichotomy. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these results.
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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have been conducted regarding the clinical features of the manic state in elderly patients with bipolar disorder; however, little information is available about bipolar depression in these patients, especially depression related to bipolar II disorder (BP-II) and bipolar disorder not otherwise specified (BP-NOS). A chart review study of 87 patients (age > or = 60 years) hospitalized due to a major depressive episode (MDE) was conducted. Thirty-two (36.8%) and 55 (63.2%) patients were diagnosed with bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder (MDD), respectively. BP-II/BP-NOS accounted for 81.3% of bipolar disorder and 29.9% of MDE. Of the 26 BP-II/BP-NOS patients, 73% had been initially diagnosed with MDD (61.0%) or others (12.0%). Compared to MDD patients, BP-II/BP-NOS patients showed a significantly younger age-at-onset of the first MDE (median, 52 vs. 66 years, p=0.000) and significantly more frequent MDEs (median, 3 vs. 1, p=0.000). The depressed mixed state (DMX) was observed in 61.5% of BP-II/BP-NOS patients in contrast to only 16.4% of MDD patients (p=0.000). The multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that younger age at onset of first MDE and DMX were independent markers of bipolarity. Certain features were retrospectively specified by a single reviewer. Late-life depression due to BP-II/BP-NOS is generally misdiagnosed, but should never be neglected in elderly inpatients. Some features of the depression suggest bipolarity. In particular, DMX was found to be an independent marker of bipolarity, which supports the mixed nature of this disorder across generations.
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