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Psychiatry Res. 2000 Aug 28;99(2):75-82.

Temporal lobe volume in panic disorder--a quantitative magnetic resonance imaging study.

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  • 1Departments of Radiology and Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, Yale Psychiatric Institute-Research, 184 Liberty St., 06520, New Haven, CT, USA.


Although previous studies have used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to demonstrate qualitative abnormalities of the temporal lobes in patients with panic disorder, no study to date has applied quantitative volumetric methods to evaluate brain changes in panic disorder. The purpose of this study was to measure the volume of the temporal lobe and the hippocampus in patients with panic disorder and healthy control subjects using quantitative MRI measures. The volume of the temporal lobe, hippocampus and whole brain was measured in 13 patients with panic disorder and 14 healthy subjects. The mean volume of the left and right temporal lobes was significantly smaller in panic disorder compared to healthy subjects (16770+/-909 mm(3) vs. 18343+/-1740 mm(3)). This result was significant after controlling for differences in whole brain volume. There was no significant difference in volume of the hippocampus between patients and control subjects. These findings are consistent with smaller temporal lobe volume in panic disorder despite normal hippocampal volume.

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