What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of panic disorder?

Updated: Mar 21, 2018
  • Author: Mohammed A Memon, MD; Chief Editor: Randon S Welton, MD  more...
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No imaging study findings are currently specific for panic disorder, although they are performed to evaluate anatomic evidence of other diagnostic possibilities. Studies may include an electroencephalogram (EEG) to exclude partial complex seizures.

Investigational functional neuroimaging is not used in routine clinical practice for diagnosis or for monitoring treatment response. However, positron emission tomography (PET) scanning has demonstrated increased flow in the right parahippocampal region and reduced serotonin type 1A receptor binding in the anterior and posterior cingulate and raphe of patients with panic disorder. [15] Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has demonstrated smaller temporal lobe volume, despite normal hippocampal volume, in patients with panic disorder. [19]

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