Psychopathological characteristics in patients with arginine vasopressin deficiency (central diabetes insipidus) and primary polydipsia compared to healthy controls

Cihan Atila, Julia Beck, Julie Refardt, Zoran Erlic, Juliana B. Drummond, Clara O. Sailer, Matthias E. Liechti, Beatriz Santana Soares Rocha, Felix Beuschlein, Bettina Winzeler, Mirjam Christ-Crain*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Abstract

Objective: 

Distinguishing arginine vasopressin deficiency (AVP-D; central diabetes insipidus) from primary polydipsia (PP), commonly referred to as psychogenic polydipsia, is challenging. Psychopathologic findings, commonly used for PP diagnosis in clinical practice, are rarely evaluated in AVP-D patients, and no comparative data between the two conditions currently exist. 

Design: 

Data from two studies involving 82 participants [39 AVP-D, 28 PP, and 15 healthy controls (HC)]. 

Methods: 

Psychological evaluations were conducted using standardized questionnaires measuring anxiety [State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)], alexithymia [Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20)], depressive symptoms (Beck’s Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and overall mental health [Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36)]. Higher STAI, TAS-20, and BDI-II scores suggest elevated anxiety, alexithymia, and depression, while higher SF-36 scores signify better overall mental health. 

Results: 

Compared to HC, patients with AVP-D and PP showed higher levels of anxiety (HC 28 points [24–31] vs AVP-D 36 points [31–45]; vs PP 38 points [33–46], P < .01), alexithymia (HC 30 points [29–37] vs AVP-D 43 points [35–54]; vs PP 46 points [37–55], P < .01), and depression (HC 1 point [0–2] vs AVP-D 7 points [4–14]; vs PP 7 points [3–13], P < .01). Levels of anxiety, alexithymia, and depression showed no difference between both patient groups (P = .58, P = .90, P = .50, respectively). Compared to HC, patients with AVP-D and PP reported similarly reduced self-reported overall mental health scores (HC 84 [68–88] vs AVP-D 60 [52–80], P = .05; vs PP 60 [47–74], P < .01).

Conclusion: 

This study reveals heightened anxiety, alexithymia, depression, and diminished overall mental health in patients with AVP-D and PP. The results emphasize the need for careful interpretation of psychopathological characteristics to differentiate between AVP-D and PP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)354-362
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Endocrinology
Volume190
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2024

Bibliographical note

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