The British Journal of Psychiatry
Pattern recognition analysis of anterior cingulate cortex blood flow to classify depression polarity
J. R. C. Almeida, J. Mourao-Miranda, H. J. Aizenstein, A. Versace, F. A. Kozel, H. Lu, A. Marquand, E. J. LaBarbara, M. Brammer, M. Trivedi, D. J. Kupfer, M. L. Phillips
  • Declaration of interest

    H. J. A. has received support from Novartis for an unrelated study. F. A. K. holds patents through the Medical University of South Carolina and has patents pending as an inventor of imaging and neuromodulation technologies. M. T. has received unrelated research support and consulting and speaker fees from several pharmaceutical and medical technology companies with interests in the treatment and detection of depression and bipolar illness.


Differentiating bipolar from recurrent unipolar depression is a major clinical challenge. In 18 healthy females and 36 females in a depressive episode - 18 with bipolar disorder type I, 18 with recurrent unipolar depression - we applied pattern recognition analysis using subdivisions of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) blood flow at rest, measured with arterial spin labelling. Subgenual ACC blood flow classified unipolar v. bipolar depression with 81% accuracy (83% sensitivity, 78% specificity).