Severity of schizophrenia and magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities: A comparison of state and veterans Hospital patients

Laura Marsh, Kelvin O. Lim, Anne L. Hoff, Debra Harris, Michael Beal, Kyungtak Minn, William O. Faustman, John G. Csernansky, Edith V. Sullivan, Adolf Pfefferbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: The relationship between illness severity and neuroanatomical abnormalities in schizophrenia remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to test whether the pattern and extent of brain volume abnormalities differed between two patient groups, distinguished by their overall severity and clinical course of schizophrenia. Methods: Subjects were 56 severely ill, chronically hospitalized schizophrenic men from Napa State Hospital (SH-SZ), 44 moderately ill, acutely hospitalized schizophrenic men from the Palo Alto Veterans Administration Health Care System (VA-SZ), and 52 healthy male control subjects. Temporolimbic, ventricular, and frontoparietal volumes, quantified from 3-mm coronal spin-echo magnetic resonance images and adjusted for cerebral volume and age, were compared using analysis of variance. Results: Compared to control subjects, both SZ groups had smaller (p < .05) temporal lobe and frontoparietal gray matter volumes and larger ventricles and temporal sulci. Whereas SH-SZ had more pronounced cerebrospihal fluid and frontoparietal abnormalities relative to VA-SZ; VA- SZ had greater temporal lobe gray matter deficits. Neither patient group had hippocampal or cerebral volume deficits relative to control subjects. There were no differences between diagnostic subtypes. Conclusions: The magnitude of volume abnormalities in schizophrenia varies with respect to disease severity and to brain region, but disease severity is not associated with anatomically distinct subgroups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this work was provided by the National Institute of Health [MH30854 (AP), MH53485 (LM)]; the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders (KOL, ALH); the Theodore and Vada Stanley Foundation (LM); the Epilepsy Foundation of America (LM); the Department of Veterans Affairs (LM, KOL, WOF, JGC, EVS, AP); the Norris Foundation (Stanford University); and the California Department of Mental Health and Napa State Hospital (ALH, DH, MB, KM).


  • Brain
  • Gray matter
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Schizophrenia
  • Severity
  • Subtypes
  • Temporal lobe


Dive into the research topics of 'Severity of schizophrenia and magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities: A comparison of state and veterans Hospital patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this