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Accuracy of Dexamethasone Suppression Test in Alcoholics-Reply

Conrad M. Swartz, PHD, MD; Frederick J. Dunner, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(5):587. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790050113018.
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In Reply.—  Dr Carroll has found a typographical error in our article. The citation for references in which all alcoholic patients tested had normal DST results should have been references 2 and 3 rather than 1 and 3, thus not including Dr Carroll's 1981 report (Archives 1981;38:15-22).The data from Dr Dackis and his colleagues are interesting, but their alcoholic patients appear to be different from ours. Central to this matter is the intensity and duration of alcohol abuse and the particular cause of the patient's hospitalization. Our patients were admitted because they had been abusing alcohol repeatedly for a long time. Given the wide-ranging nature of the diagnostic criteria for alcoholism, two hospitalized alcoholics can have very different drinking patterns. Our results plainly will not apply to a dysphoric alcoholic whose last intoxication was four months prior to admission.One might regard the abnormal liver test results in many of our


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