Background: Adult posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is associated with decreased hippocampal volumes; however, decreased hippocampal volumes were not seen in pediatric maltreatment-related PTSD. We examined hippocampal volumes longitudinally to determine if a history of childhood traumatic stress alters hippocampal growth during puberty.
Methods: Magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure temporal lobes, amygdala, and hippocampal volumes in nine prepubertal maltreated subjects with pediatric maltreatment-related PTSD and nine sociodemographically matched healthy nonmaltreated yoked control subjects at baseline and after at least 2 years follow-up (during the later stages of pubertal development) using identical equipment and measurement methodology.
Results: Temporal lobe, amygdala and hippocampal volumes did not differ between groups at baseline, follow-up, or across time.
Conclusions: Whereas these data are from a small sample, the results do not support hippocampal changes in pediatric maltreatment-related PTSD.