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Radiological findings in individuals at high risk of psychosis
  1. S J Borgwardt1,
  2. E-W Radue2,
  3. K Götz1,
  4. J Aston1,
  5. M Drewe1,
  6. U Gschwandtner1,
  7. S Haller2,
  8. M Pflüger1,
  9. R-D Stieglitz1,
  10. P K McGuire3,
  11. A Riecher-Rössler1
  1. 1Psychiatric Outpatient Department, University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland
  2. 2Neuroradiological Department, University Hospital Basel
  3. 3Department of Psychiatry, Section of Neuroimaging, Institute of Psychiatry, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Anita Riecher-Rössler
 Psychiatric Outpatient Department, University Hospital Basel, Petersgraben 4, CH-4031 Basel, Switzerland; ariecher{at}


Objective: To assess the prevalence of radiological magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in individuals at high risk of schizophrenia.

Methods: MRI scans from individuals at high risk of schizophrenia (HR; n = 37) were assessed by a radiologist blind to group status and compared with scans from patients with first episode psychosis (FE; n = 30), depressive controls (DC; n = 17), and healthy controls (HC; n = 26).

Results: There was a significantly higher proportion of radiological findings in individuals at high risk of schizophrenia (35%) and patients with first-episode psychosis (40%) than in patients with depression (18%) or healthy controls (12%). These differences were specific to findings regarded as potentially clinically significant as opposed to normal variants; however, there was no indication for medical treatment.

Conclusions: The results suggest that a large proportion of those at high risk of psychosis have radiological findings on MRI scanning, and that the prevalence of radiological findings in this group is similar to that in patients with first episode psychosis.

  • BLIPS, brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms
  • BPRS, Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale
  • BSIP, Basel Screening Instrument for Psychosis
  • DC, depressive controls
  • DSM-III-R, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, third edition, revised
  • FE, first episode psychosis
  • HC, healthy controls
  • HR, high risk of schizophrenia
  • ICD-10, International Classification of Diseases, 10th revision
  • schizophrenia
  • psychosis
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • radiological findings

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  • Competing interests: The sponsor of the study had no role in study design, collection, analysis, interpretation of data, writing of this report, or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.