J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 74:962-964 doi:10.1136/jnnp.74.7.962
  • Short report

Similarity and disparity of obsessive-compulsive disorder and schizophrenia in MR volumetric abnormalities of the hippocampus-amygdala complex

  1. J S Kwon1,
  2. Y-W Shin1,
  3. C-W Kim1,
  4. Y I Kim1,
  5. T Youn1,
  6. M H Han3,
  7. K-H Chang3,
  8. J-J Kim2
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  2. 2BK21 Life Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine
  3. 3Department of Radiology, Seoul National University College of Medicine
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J-J Kim, BK21 Life Sciences, Room 206, Seoul National Univeristy College of Medicine, 28 Yeongon-dong, Chongno-gu, Seoul, Korea, 110-744;
  • Received 16 April 2002
  • Accepted 13 December 2002
  • Revised 18 September 2002


Objectives: Given that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia may share clinical symptoms as well as functional brain abnormalities, this study was designed to clarify common and different morphological abnormalities in OCD and schizophrenia.

Methods: Volumes of the hippocampus, the amygdala, and the thalamus were measured in three age and sex matched groups of 22 patients with OCD, 22 patients with schizophrenia, and 22 normal subjects using three dimensional magnetic resonance imaging. Volume tracing was performed manually on serial coronal slices with the references of sagittal or axial planes using internal landmarks.

Results: Hippocampal volume was bilaterally reduced in both OCD and schizophrenic patients versus the normal controls. Left amygdala volume was significantly enlarged in patients with OCD but not in patients with schizophrenia versus the normal controls. The thalamus did not show any volumetric group differences.

Conclusions: Non-specific hippocampal reduction in both the OCD and schizophrenic groups is likely to link to a clinical overlap between the two illnesses, whereas the left amygdala enlargement observed only in the OCD patients seems to be suggestive of a unique role for the amygdala in the pathophysiology of OCD.


  • Conflict of interest: None declared

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