July 1988

Computed Tomographic Evidence for Generalized Sulcal and Ventricular Enlargement in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Drs Pfefferbaum, Zipursky, and Lim) and Radiology (Dr Zatz), Stanford University School of Medicine, and the Veterans Administration Medical Center (Drs Pfefferbaum, Zipursky, and Lim), Palo Alto, Calif; the Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, and Veterans Administration Medical Center, La Jolla, Calif (Dr Jernigan); and Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, Harlow, Essex, United Kingdom (Dr Stahl).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(7):633-640. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800310037005

• Quantification of ventricular and sulcal volumes from the computed tomographic (CT) scans of 45 schizophrenic patients and 57 normal controls was carried out using a semiautomated computerized approach. The sizes of all cerebrospinal fluid spaces measured were significantly related to age in the control population. An age regression model was used to compare patients and controls. Schizophrenics had slightly larger ventricles and considerably larger sulci than controls. Enlargement of the ventricles and sulci was not correlated with measures of negative symptoms or neuropsychological Impairment. The CT scans of eight very ill chronically institutionalized schizophrenics were also analyzed. Their CT findings did not differ significantly from the larger group of schizophrenics studied. Our results show that the cerebral atrophy found in schizophrenia is diffuse in nature and does not relate clearly to measures of disease severity or chronicity.