Object: The goal of this study was to test hypotheses regarding changes in volume in subcortical structures following anterior cingulotomy.
Methods: Morphometric magnetic resonance (MR) imaging methods were used to assess volume reductions in subcortical regions following anterior cingulate lesioning in nine patients. Magnetic resonance imaging data obtained before and 9 +/- 6 months following anterior cingulotomy were subjected to segmentation and subcortical parcellation. Significant volume reductions were predicted and found bilaterally within the caudate nucleus, but not in the amygdala, thalamus, lenticular nuclei, or hippocampus. Subcortical parcellation revealed that the volume reduction in the caudate nucleus was principally referrable to the body, rather than the head. Furthermore, the magnitude of volume reduction in the caudate body was significantly correlated with total lesion volume.
Conclusions: Taken together, these findings implicate significant connectivity between a region of anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) lesioned during cingulotomy and the caudate body. This unique data set complements published findings in nonhuman primates, and advances our knowledge regarding patterns of cortical-subcortical connectivity involving the ACC in humans. Moreover, these findings indicate changes distant from the site of anterior cingulotomy lesions that may play a role in the clinical response to this neurosurgical procedure.