Background: We investigated clinical factors to determine their relationship to treatment resistance among bipolar patients who had a consultation at a tertiary care facility.
Methods: Patients were separated into two categories: rapid-cycling disorders and nonrapid-cycling disorders. We hypothesized that there would be less usage of lithium carbonate among nonrapid-cycling treatment-resistant patients than among rapid cyclers and also that there would be higher rates of comorbidity seen among nonrapid-cycling than rapid-cycling patients in order to account for these particular patients being treatment resistant.
Findings: Continued recyling and persistent depression characterized rapid cyclers, whereas persistent depression characterized nonrapid cyclers. Less than 30% of patients had adequate lithium treatment and there was no significant difference comparing rapid cyclers with non-rapid cyclers. Rates of comorbidity were also not significantly different between these groups. We also assessed a number of other factors.
Conclusion: Some of these factors were significant, but when a Bonferonni correction was applied, these significant differences were not maintained. The study of treatment resistance among nonrapid-cycling bipolar patients merits further research.