Several inflammatory hypotheses have been suggested to explain the etiopathogenesis of bipolar disorder (BD) and its different phases. Neutrophil-to-lymphocyte (NLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte (PLR), and monocyte-to-lymphocyte (MLR) ratios have been proposed as potential peripheral biomarkers of mood episodes.
We recruited 294 patients affected by BD, of which 143 were experiencing a (hypo)manic episode and 151 were in a depressive phase. A blood sample was drawn to perform a complete blood count. NLR, PLR, and MLR were subsequently calculated. A -test was performed to evaluate differences in blood cell counts between depressed and (hypo)manic patients and a regression model was then computed.
Mean values of neutrophils, platelets, mean platelet volume, NLR, PLR, and MLR were significantly higher in (hypo)manic than depressed individuals. Logistic regression showed that PLR may represent an independent predictor of (hypo)mania.
Altered inflammatory indexes, particularly PLR, may explain the onset and recurrence of (hypo)manic episodes in patients with BD. As inflammatory ratios represent economical and accessible markers of inflammation, further studies should be implemented to better elucidate their role as peripheral biomarkers of BD mood episodes.