Lithium Ratio In Vitro: Diagnosis and Lithium Carbonate Response in Psychotic Patients

David L. Garver, Robert Hitzemann, Jack Hirschowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The distribution of RBC lithium ratios in vitro in a recently hospitalized psychiatric population was found to be multimodal. Psychotic patients who had an antipsychotic response during open trials of lithium carbonate alone were identified with high sensitivity (89%), but low specificity (51%) before drug treatment, by lithium ratios that were in the extreme modes of the distribution (&0.30 or &0.38). Diagnostic efficiency of the test was 61%. The DSM-III diagnosis of schizophreniform disorder demonstrated 90% diagnostic efficiency in predicting response/nonresponse during treatment with lithium carbonate alone. A subgroup of the psychotic disorders was similar to affective disorders with respect to course of illness, biological characteristics, and response to lithium carbonate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)497-505
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of General Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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