Clinical patterns and treatment outcome in patients with melancholic, atypical and non-melancholic depressions.

Gili M, Roca M, Armengol S, Asensio D, Garcia-Campayo J, Parker G. PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e48200


Objective. To assess sociodemographic, clinical and treatment factors as well as depression outcome in a large representative clinical sample of psychiatric depressive outpatients and to determine if melancholic and atypical depression can be differentiated from residual non-melancholic depressive conditions. Subjects/Materials and Method. A prospective, naturalistic, multicentre, nationwide epidemiological study of 1455 depressive outpatients was undertaken. Severity of depressive symptoms was assessed by the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) and the Self Rated Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology(IDS-SR30). IDS-SR30 defines melancholic and atypical depression according to DSM-IV criteria. Assessments were carried out after 6–8 weeks of antidepressant treatment and after 14–20 weeks of continuation treatment. Results. Melancholic patients (16.2%) were more severely depressed, had more depressive episodes and shorter episode duration than atypical (24.7%) and non-melancholic patients. Atypical depressive patients showed higher rates of co-morbid anxiety disorders and substance abuse. Melancholic patients showed lower rates of remission. Conclusion. Our study supports a different clinical pattern and treatment outcome for melancholic and atypical depression subtypes.