Abstract

Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies from our laboratory have reported that patients with schizophrenia show a widespread cortical gray matter volume deficit, which is especially pronounced in the prefrontal and anterior superior temporal cortices. The present study compared two separate samples of schizophrenic patients -- 71 men from a Veterans Administration (VA) hospital and a sample of 57 severely ill men from a state hospital (SH) -- in an effort to test whether the pattern of brain volume abnormalities previously observed in VA schizophrenic patients can be generalized to other groups of schizophrenic patients. MRI-derived brain volumes of gray matter, white matter and sulcal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in six cortical regions, and CSF in the lateral and third ventricles were computed. All MRI volumes were adjusted for normal variation in head size and age and were expressed as standardized Z-scores, which also permitted structures of different sizes to be compared directly. The two schizophrenic groups displayed similar patterns of volume abnormalities: cortical gray matter but not white matter volume deficits that were widespread but especially notable in the prefrontal and temporal regions. The regional gray matter deficits in the SH group were generally greater than those in the VA group, particularly in the prefrontal and posterior superior temporal regions. Both schizophrenic groups had abnormally large volumes of the cortical sulci and lateral and third ventricles; however, the SH group showed greater enlargements, the most prominent occurring in the ventricles and temporal sulci. The overlapping patterns of cortical gray matter deficits in the two groups provide evidence for generality of this pattern of regional brain volume abnormalities in schizophrenia.