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Am J Psychiatry. 2001 Aug;158(8):1248-51.

Longitudinal MRI study of hippocampal volume in trauma survivors with PTSD.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hadassah University Hospital, P.O. Box 12000, Jerusalem 91120, Israel.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The authors prospectively explored whether a reduction in the volume of the hippocampus occurs in recent trauma survivors who develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

METHOD:

Thirty-seven survivors of traumatic events were assessed within a week of the traumatic event and 6 months later. The assessment included magnetic resonance imaging of the brain (including 124 coronal slices of 1.5-mm thickness), psychometric testing, and structured clinical interviews. The Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale conferred PTSD diagnoses at 6 months.

RESULTS:

Ten subjects (27%) had PTSD at 6 months. The subjects with PTSD did not differ from those without PTSD in hippocampal volume (right or left) at 1 week or 6 months. There was no reduction in hippocampal volume in the PTSD subjects between 1 week and 6 months.

CONCLUSIONS:

Smaller hippocampal volume is not a necessary risk factor for developing PTSD and does not occur within 6 months of expressing the disorder. This brain abnormality might occur in individuals with chronic or complicated PTSD.

PMID:
11481158
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2819102
Free PMC Article
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