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The potential predictors for treatment-resistance depression after selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors therapy in Han Chinese: A resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

AIM: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are among the most important antidepressants. However, there is limited research on predicting the occurrence of treatment-resistant depression (TRD) after 5 years. Examining the predictive effect of TRD occurrence using resting-state fMRI in patients initiating SSRIs treatment at the onset of major depressive disorder (MDD) could potentially enhance TRD management.

METHODS: A total of 60 first-episode drug-naive MDD patients who met the criteria, along with 41 healthy controls of Han Chinese ethnicity, were recruited. All MDD patients received SSRIs as the initial treatment for relieving depressive symptoms. Resting-state fMRI scans were conducted for all subjects. Follow-up assessments were conducted over a period of five years, during which MDD patients were categorized into treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and non-treatment-resistant depression (NRD) groups based on disease progression. Amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (ALFF), fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF), and Regional Homogeneity (ReHo) values were calculated and compared among the three groups. Additionally, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were employed to identify potential predictors.

RESULTS: After 5 years of follow-up, it was found that 43 MDD patients were classified as NRD, while 17 were classified as TRD. In comparison to TRD, NRD exhibited decreased ALFF in the left middle cingulum gyrus (MCG.L) and in the right middle frontal gyrus (MFG.R), as well as decreased ReHo in MCG.L. Furthermore, NRD showed increased fALFF in the left precuneus (PCUN.L). The area under the curve (AUC) values were as follows: 0.724 (MCG.L by ALFF), 0.732 (MFG.R), 0.767 (PCUN.L), 0.774 (MCG.L by ReHo), 0.878 (combined), 0.547 (HAMD), and 0.408 (HAMA) respectively.

CONCLUSION: The findings suggest that PCUN.L, MFG.R, MCG.L, and the combined measures may indicate the possibility of developing TRD after 5 years when SSRIs are used as the initial therapy for relieving depressive symptoms in MDD patients.

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