The British Journal of Psychiatry
De Clérambault's syndrome--a nosological entity?
P Ellis, G Mellsop


The consistency of de Clérambault's syndrome and its relationship to other diagnostic labels is examined in terms of operational criteria derived from the original description of the syndrome. Five new cases of erotic delusions are examined, and 53 cases reported in the recent literature are reviewed; none of these completely satisfies the diagnostic criteria, while the majority of patients actually suffered from another disorder, most commonly schizophrenia. The justification for the retention of the syndrome as a nosological entity is discussed, and it is argued that the term should be seen as principally of historical interest.