Lower striatal dopamine D2/3receptor availability in obsessive-compulsive disorder: A meta-analysis of [11C]-raclopride and [123I]-IBZM studies

Fernando Caravaggio, Natasha Porco, Yusuke Iwata, Shinichiro Nakajima, Philip Gerretsen, Gary Remington, Ariel Graff-Guerrero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is unclear whether striatal dopamine D2/3 receptor (D2/3R) availability is reduced in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We conducted a meta-analysis of substituted benzamide radiotracer studies to address this question (k = 4; N = 33 medication-free patients with OCD and N = 38 matched healthy controls). Our meta-analysis suggests that striatal D2/3R availability is lower in medication-free patients with OCD compared to healthy controls (Cohen's d = 0.97, 95% CI = 0.45–1.50, z = 3.65, I2 = 0, p <.0001). Previous studies have not been sufficiently powered to detect this observed effect-size. We recommend that future studies employ larger sample sizes (n ≥ 19 per group), composed of younger OCD patients with greater illness severity, to validate the findings of this meta-analysis. We hope these findings will help guide future dopamine imaging studies in OCD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100618
JournalJournal of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan


  • Dopamine
  • OCD
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Striatum
  • meta-Analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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