Positron-emission tomography and personality disorders

Peter F. Goyer, Paul J. Andreason, William E. Semple, Anita H. Clayton, Anna C. King, Beth A. Compton-Toth, S. Charles Schulz, Robert M. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations


This study used positron-emission tomography to examine cerebral metabolic rates of glucose (CMRG) in 17 patients with DSM 111-R diagnoses of personality disorder. Within the group of 17 personality disorder patients, there was a significant inverse correlation between a life history of aggressive impulse difficulties and regional CMRG in the frontal cortex of the transaxial plane approximately 40 mm above the canthomeatal line (CML) (r = -.56, p = 0.17). Diagnostic groups included antisocial (n = 6), borderline (n = 6), dependent (n = 2), and narcissistic (n = 3). Regional CMRG in the six antisocial patients and in the six borderline patients was compared to a control group of 43 subjects using an analysis of covariance with age and sex as covariates. In the borderline personality disorder group, there was a significant decrease in frontal cortex metabolism in the transaxial plane approximately 81 mm above the CML and a significant increase in the transaxial plane approximately 53 mm above the CML (F[1,45] = 8.65, p =.005, and F[1,45] = 7.68, p =.008, respectively).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-28
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1994

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by a grant from the Cleveland Foundation.

Copyright 2016 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Antisocial personality disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Cerebral glucose metabolism
  • Personality disorder
  • Positron-emission tomography
  • Regional cerebral metabolic rate of glucose


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