Objective: The aim of the study was to determine whether regional cerebral blood flow in survivors of torture suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) differed significantly from that in healthy controls. Method: We examined the cerebral regional distribution of 99m-technetium-hexamethylpropyleneamineoxime (HMPAO) using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) in 8 patients and in 8 healthy controls. A semi-quantitative analysis was performed in which symmetrical regions of interest (ROI) were drawn in all subjects. Results: Regional blood flow was markedly more heterogeneous in patients suffering from PTSD than in healthy controls. The differences are significant. Conclusion: Severe psychological trauma induced by torture can cause neurobiologic alterations that may contribute, even years after the original trauma, to a number of complaints commonly expressed by patients suffering from PTSD.

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