Relevance of Plasma and Urine Amine Metabolites as Diagnostic and Pharmacodynamic Indicators in Psychiatric Disorders

  • Jerry J. Warsh
  • Harvey C. Stancer
  • Peter P. Li


Hypothesized dysfunction of central-nervous-system (CNS) neurotransmitter systems (for reviews, see Goodwin and Potter, 1978; Van Praag,1978)stimulated numerous clinical investigations entailing measures of monoamine metabolites in readily accessible body fluids, such as urine, blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). To the present time, data derived through the use of such measures have provided only tenuous support to these hypotheses. This may indicate deficiencies in our concepts of the nature of these disorders, but could also reflect the insensitivity of peripheral monoamine metabolites to detect CNS change. In this chapter we critically reevaluate the utility of plasma and urine monoamine-metabolite measures as indicators either of the presumed aberrant CNS neurotransmitter function in psychiatric disorders or of the pharmacodynamic effects of psychotropic drugs.


Median Raphe Nucleus Monoamine Metabolite MHPG Level Plasma MHPG Peripheral Sympathetic Activity 
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© Pavel D. Hrdina and Radhey L. Singhal 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jerry J. Warsh
  • Harvey C. Stancer
  • Peter P. Li

There are no affiliations available

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