Laboratory measures have played an integral role in diagnosing pathology; however, compared to traditional medicine, psychiatric medicine has lagged behind in using such measures. A growing body of literature has begun to examine the viability and development of different laboratory measures in order to diagnose psychopathologies. The present review examines the current state of development of both sodium lactate infusion and CO2-35% inhalation as potential ancillary measures to diagnose panic disorder (PD). A previously established 3-step approach to identifying laboratory-based diagnostic tests was applied to available literature assessing the ability of both sodium lactate infusion or CO2-35% inhalation to induce panic attacks in PD patients, healthy controls, and individuals with other psychiatric conditions. Results suggest that across the literature reviewed, individuals with PD were more likely to exhibit panic attacks following administration of sodium lactate or CO2-35% compared to control participants. The majority of the studies examined only compared individuals with PD to healthy controls, suggesting that these ancillary measures are underdeveloped. In order to further determine the utility of these ancillary measures, research is needed to determine if panic attacks following administration of these chemical agents are unique to PD, or if individuals with related pathologies also respond, which may be indicative of transdiagnostic characteristics found across disorders.

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