Cerebrospinal fluid findings in patients with psychotic symptoms—a retrospective analysis
AbstractIn current international classification systems (ICD-10, DSM5), the diagnostic criteria for psychotic disorders (e.g. schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder) are based on symptomatic descriptions since no unambiguous biomarkers are known to date. However, when underlying causes of psychotic symptoms, like inflammation, ischemia, or tumor affecting the neural tissue can be identified, a different classification is used ("psychotic disorder with delusions due to known physiological
... dition" (ICD-10: F06.2) or psychosis caused by medical factors (DSM5)). While CSF analysis still is considered optional in current diagnostic guidelines for psychotic disorders, CSF biomarkers could help to identify known physiological conditions. In this retrospective, partly descriptive analysis of 144 patients with psychotic symptoms and available CSF data, we analyzed CSF examinations' significance to differentiate patients with specific etiological factors (F06.2) from patients with schizophrenia, schizotypal, delusional, and other non-mood psychotic disorders (F2). In 40.3% of all patients, at least one CSF parameter was out of the reference range. Abnormal CSF-findings were found significantly more often in patients diagnosed with F06.2 (88.2%) as compared to patients diagnosed with F2 (23.8%, p < 0.00001). A total of 17 cases were identified as probably caused by specific etiological factors (F06.2), of which ten cases fulfilled the criteria for a probable autoimmune psychosis linked to the following autoantibodies: amphiphysin, CASPR2, CV2, LGl1, NMDA, zic4, and titin. Two cases presented with anti-thyroid tissue autoantibodies. In four cases, further probable causal factors were identified: COVID-19, a frontal intracranial tumor, multiple sclerosis (n = 2), and neurosyphilis. Twenty-one cases remained with "no reliable diagnostic classification". Age at onset of psychotic symptoms differed between patients diagnosed with F2 and F06.2 (p = 0.014), with the latter group being older (median: 44 vs. 28 years). Various CSF parameters were analyzed in an exploratory analysis, identifying pleocytosis and oligoclonal bands (OCBs) as discriminators (F06.2 vs. F2) with a high specificity of > 96% each. No group differences were found for gender, characteristics of psychotic symptoms, substance dependency, or family history. This study emphasizes the great importance of a detailed diagnostic workup in diagnosing psychotic disorders, including CSF analysis, to detect possible underlying pathologies and improve treatment decisions.