Hallucinatory disorder, an original clinical picture? Clinical and imaging data

Massimo C. Mauri, Marco Gaietta, Filippo Dragogna, Isabel Valli, Giancarlo Cerveri, Giorgio Marotta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this study was to verify the existence of areas of clinical and neurofunctional homogeneity in a group of patients with auditory verbal hallucinations (AVHs) as an isolated symptom, attributable to what we have called "Hallucinatory Disorder" (HD) in an attempt to propose a clinical picture that is distinct from Schizophrenia. Method: Nine patients clinically characterised by chronic AVHs were compared with nine schizophrenic patients using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R, BPRS, PANSS, SAPS, SANS, HRS-A, HRS-D, CDSS, MMSE, CGI and PSYRATS. Both groups of patients and nine healthy subjects underwent EEG and SPECT examinations. Results: Considering the psychopathological dimensions of Schizophrenia, in the HD patients clinical evaluations revealed a mono-dimensional clinical profile, whereas all these dimensions contributed to the clinical picture of the schizophrenic patients. The SPECT data showed that the schizophrenic patients had a reduced rCBF in some areas of the right frontal lobe, while the HD patients did not show any area of hypoperfusion. The SPECT hyperperfusion data showed an activation pattern in the HD patients that was characterised by the involvement of various cortical and subcortical cerebral areas, similar to those found in studies of inner speech and auditory verbal imagery. Conclusions: The two groups of patients present significant differences that seem capable of supporting the proposed hypothesis that HD may be an independent nosographical entity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-530
Number of pages8
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2008


  • Auditory verbal hallucinations
  • Chronic hallucinatory psychosis
  • Hallucinatory disorder
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology


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