COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

A manual and automated MRI study of anterior cingulate and orbito-frontal cortices, and caudate nucleus in obsessive-compulsive disorder: comparison with healthy controls and patients with schizophrenia

Jem Riffkin, Murat Yücel, Paul Maruff, Stephen J Wood, Bridget Soulsby, James Olver, Michael Kyrios, Dennis Velakoulis, Christos Pantelis
Psychiatry Research 2005 February 28, 138 (2): 99-113
15766634
Functional imaging and neuropsychological data suggest that interconnected brain structures including the orbito-frontal cortex (OFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and caudate nucleus (CN) are involved in the pathophysiology of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but structural imaging studies investigating these regions have yielded inconclusive results. This may be due to inconsistencies in the identification of anatomical boundaries and methodologies utilised (i.e. automated vs. manual tracing). This magnetic resonance imaging study used manual tracing to measure volumes of selected brain regions (OFC, ACC and CN) in OCD patients and compared them with samples of healthy (HC) and psychiatric (schizophrenia; SCZ) controls (n=18 in each group). Concurrently, automated voxel-based analysis was also used to detect subtle differences in cerebral grey and white matter. For the OCD vs. HC comparison, there were no significant volumetric differences detected using the manual or the automated method (although the latter revealed a deficit in the subcortical white matter of the right temporal region). A direct comparison of the two patient groups showed no significant differences using the manual method. However, a moderate effect size was detected for OFC grey matter (reduced in SCZ), which was supported by findings of reduced OFC volume in the automated analysis. Automated analyses also showed reduced volumes in the dorsal (white matter) and ventral ACC (grey and white matter), as well as the left posterior cingulate (grey and white matter) in SCZ. The findings suggest that in contrast to findings in SCZ, there are very few (if any) gross structural anomalies in OCD.

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