A voxel-based morphometric MRI study in female patients with borderline personality disorder

Neuroimage. 2003 Sep;20(1):385-92. doi: 10.1016/s1053-8119(03)00297-0.


Subtle prefrontal and limbic structural abnormalities have been reported in borderline personality disorder (BPD). In order to further validate the previously reported findings and to more precisely describe the nature of the structural change we performed a voxel-based morphometric (VBM) study in patients with BPD. Twenty female patients with BPD and 21 female healthy controls were investigated. High-resolution 3-D datasets were acquired and analyzed following an optimized protocol of VBM in the framework of statistical parametric mapping (SPM99). Gray matter volume loss was found in the left amygdala. No other differences in gray or white matter volume or density were found anywhere else in the brain. Our findings support the hypothesis that temporolimbic abnormalities play a role in the pathophysiology of BPD. Prefrontal structural alterations in BPD were not observed in this study.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amygdala / pathology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / pathology*
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cerebral Cortex / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Limbic System / pathology
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Probability
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales