Factor Structure of Cotard's Syndrome: Systematic Review of Case Reports

Jeff Huarcaya-Victoria, José Bojórquez-De la Torre, Jorge De la Cruz-Oré

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cotard's syndrome is a rare psychiatric condition. As a result, current information is mainly based on reports and case series. Objective: To analyse the psychopathological characteristics and the grouping of the symptoms of the Cotard's syndrome cases reported in the medical literature. Methods: A systematic review of the literature of all reported cases of Cotard's syndrome from 2005 to January 2018 was performed in the MEDLINE/PubMed database. Demographic variables and clinical characteristics of each case were collected. An exploratory factor analysis of the symptoms was performed. Results: The search identified 86 articles, of which 69 were potentially relevant. After reviewing the full texts, 55 articles were selected for the systematic review, in which we found 69 cases. We found that the diagnosis of major depression (P < 0.001) and organic mental disorder (P = 0.004) were more frequent in the older group with Cotard's syndrome. An exploratory factor analysis extracted 3 factors: psychotic depression, in which it includes patients with delusions of guilt (0.721), suicidal ideas (0.685), delusions of damnation (0.662), nihilistic delusions of the body (0.642), depression (0.522), and hypochondriacal delusions (0.535); delusive-hallucinatory, with patients who presented delusions of immortality (0.566), visual hallucinations (0.545) and nihilistic delusions of existence (0.451), and mixed, with patients who presented nihilistic delusions of concepts (0.702), anxiety (0.573), and auditory hallucinations (0.560). Conclusions: The psychopathology of Cotard's syndrome is more complex than the simple association with the delusion of being dead, since it encompasses a factorial structure organised into 3 factors.

Translated title of the contributionFactor Structure of Cotard's Syndrome: Systematic Review of Case Reports
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)187-193
Number of pages7
JournalRevista Colombiana de Psiquiatria
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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