Catatonia in pediatric obsessive–compulsive disorder: report of two cases


Catatonia is a psychomotor syndrome which may occur in a wide variety of medical, neurological, and psychiatric conditions. In pediatrics, this condition is rare and is associated with high morbidity and mortality if not correctly diagnosed and treated. Catatonia in obsessive–compulsive disorder is an infrequent association that has been understudied and underdiagnosed. To add to the knowledge on this unusual clinical presentation, two pediatric patients are reported and discussed together with the other two cases described in the literature. These four cases in total of catatonia associated with OCD confirm that it is a relationship that is infrequently reported, possibly because of lack of awareness in clinicians that catatonia can also be caused by OCD, and because the similarity between some catatonic signs and some compulsive phenomena may compound the identification of the former. Most cases of catatonia in this small series seemed to have responded to the optimization of the treatment for OCD. This highlights the clinical importance of an accurate diagnosis of catatonia when associated with OCD.

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Correspondence to Walter Jaimes-Albornoz.

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Jaimes-Albornoz, W., Lee, E., Serra-Mestres, J. et al. Catatonia in pediatric obsessive–compulsive disorder: report of two cases. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry (2021).

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