Left anterior subregion of orbitofrontal cortex volume reduction and impaired organizational strategies in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Jung-Seok Choi, Do-Hyung Kang, Jae-Jin Kim, Tae-Hyun Ha, Jong-Min Lee, Tak Youn, In-Young Kim, Sun I Kim, Jun-Soo Kwon
Journal of Psychiatric Research 2004, 38 (2): 193-9
The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) may be involved in the clinical and cognitive expressions of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and is a heterogenous region with respect to its cytoarchitecture, function and connectivity. This study was designed to examine the morphological abnormality of the anterior subregion of OFC and its relationship to clinical symptoms and cognitive performance in patients with OCD. We divided the OFC into anterior and posterior subregions using an external landmark and measured the gray matter volumes of each by three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging in age- and sex-matched groups, which consisted of 34 OCD and 34 normal volunteers. Clinical and cognitive evaluations were completed using Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (YBOCS) and four sets of neuropsychological tests that assessed executive functions and visual memory. Volume reduction of the left anterior OFC was observed in patients with OCD versus normal controls. Also, a significant positive correlation was found between left anterior OFC gray matter volume and the copy score of the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test in patients with OCD. These results suggest that left anterior subregion volume reduction of the OFC may be related to impaired organizational strategies in patients with OCD.


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