The aim of the study was to investigate if there were any characteristics of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in dissociative identity disorder. Twenty-one drug-free patients with dissociative identity disorder and nine healthy volunteers participated in the study. In addition to a clinical evaluation, dissociative psychopathology was assessed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders, the Dissociative Experiences Scale and the Clinician-Administered Dissociative States Scale. A semi-structured interview for borderline personality disorder, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire were also administered to all patients. Normal controls had to be without a history of childhood trauma and without any depressive or dissociative disorder. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was studied with single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with Tc99m-hexamethylpropylenamine (HMPAO) as a tracer. Compared with findings in the control group, the rCBF ratio was decreased among patients with dissociative identity disorder in the orbitofrontal region bilaterally. It was increased in median and superior frontal regions and occipital regions bilaterally. There was no significant correlation between rCBF ratios of the regions of interest and any of the psychopathology scale scores. An explanation for the neurophysiology of dissociative psychopathology has to invoke a comprehensive model of interaction between anterior and posterior brain regions. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.