Objective: ICD-10 acute and transient psychotic disorder (ATPD; F23) has one of its historical roots in the French concept of bouffée délirante. This study explores the empirical relationship of the two concepts.
Method: During a 5-year period, all inpatients with ATPD were identified; the diagnosis of bouffée délirante was also determined. We systematically evaluated demographic and clinical features and carried out follow-up investigations at an average of 2.2 years after the index episode using standardized instruments.
Results: Forty-two (4.1%) of 1036 patients treated for psychotic disorders or major affective episode fulfilled the ICD-10 criteria of ATPD. Of these, only 28.6% also fulfilled the criteria of bouffée délirante. Patients with bouffée délirante were significantly younger than the remaining ATPD patients. Outcome parameters were generally more favourable for patients diagnosed with bouffée délirante than for ATPD patients without a concurrent diagnosis of bouffée délirante, but the difference was statistically significant only for occupational status.
Conclusions: There are indications that a diagnosis of bouffée délirante carries a somewhat better prognosis than ATPD in general. However, the low frequency of operationally diagnosed bouffée délirante suggests that the criteria might be too narrow.