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Psychiatry Res. 2004 Sep 15;131(3):227-35.

Reduced area of the corpus callosum in posttraumatic stress disorder.

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  • 1New Mexico VA Healthcare System, PTSD Program (116A), 1501 San Pedro Drive SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108, USA.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have revealed decreases in the mid-sagittal area of the corpus callosum (CC) in pediatric posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but at present no data are available in adult PTSD patients. We have previously reported decreased whole-brain white matter (WM) volume in adults with PTSD and now report corpus callosum area from the same sample. MRI was used to obtain whole-brain images in 12 adult patients with PTSD and 10 matched controls. Total parenchyma (white matter plus gray matter [GM]) volume, mid-sagittal area of the CC and seven sub-regions of this structure were calculated. In PTSD patients, the total CC area, absolute and normalized to total brain parenchyma, was smaller compared with control values. Several absolute and normalized CC sub-regions were also smaller in PTSD patients: genu (region 2), mid-body (region 5) and isthmus (region 6). There was also a trend for the anterior mid-body (area 4) to be smaller in PTSD patients. No differences were found in the rostrum (region 1), rostral body (region 3) or splenium (region 7). Adult patients with PTSD had decreased CC area after correcting for total brain tissue, indicating that these differences are not attributable to generalized white matter atrophy. These findings are similar to previous results in children with PTSD and suggest specific changes in the CC.

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