Corpus callosum morphology and relationship to orbitofrontal and lateral ventricular volume in teenagers with first-presentation borderline personality disorder

Mark Walterfang, Andrew M Chanen, Sarah Barton, Amanda G Wood, Sheena Jones, David C Reutens, Jian Chen, Dennis Velakoulis, Patrick D McGorry, Christos Pantelis
Psychiatry Research 2010 July 30, 183 (1): 30-7

UNLABELLED: Previous studies have demonstrated alterations to fronto-limbic circuitry and callosal structure in borderline personality disorder (BPD). We predicted that a first-presentation BPD cohort who demonstrated orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) reductions would show regional reductions in the anterior corpus callosum.

METHOD: Twenty teenage first-presentation BPD patients and twenty matched healthy controls underwent Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed in 20 teenaged first-presentation BPD patients and 20 matched healthy controls. Corpus callosum size and shape and ventricular volume were estimated using established methods and compared between the two groups. The relationship between illness variables and callosal morphology was also examined. OFC volume was correlated with callosal and ventricular variables.

RESULTS: BPD participants and controls did not differ on measures of callosal size or shape, or ventricular size. BPD participants showed an alteration to the pattern of age-related expansions seen in the callosum. BPD participants with a history of trauma did not demonstrate significant neuroanatomical differences from those without. OFC volumes did not correlate with the thickness of the anterior corpus callosum.

CONCLUSION: Gross neuroanatomical changes are not present at the level of the callosum in teenagers with first-presentation BPD. Changes seen in other studies might reflect factors associated with the duration of BPD, such as recurrent comorbidity with axis I disorders, or treatment.

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