A meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Psychiatry Res. 2004 Nov 15;132(1):69-79. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2004.07.001.


Recent neurobiological models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) posit that a dysfunction in orbitofrontal-subcortical circuitry underlies the etiology of this disorder. Much of the empirical support for these theories comes from studies using neuroimaging techniques to compare brain activity in OCD patients with that in non-OCD controls. Qualitative reviews of this literature implicate the orbitofrontal cortex, caudate nuclei, and thalamus. In this study, a meta-analysis was conducted to summarize the results of studies using positron emission tomography (PET) and single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to investigate brain activity in OCD. Results suggest that differences in radiotracer uptake between patients with OCD and healthy controls have been found consistently in the orbital gyrus and the head of the caudate nucleus. No other significant differences were found. The implications of these results for theories regarding the etiology of OCD are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caudate Nucleus* / blood supply
  • Caudate Nucleus* / metabolism
  • Caudate Nucleus* / physiopathology
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18
  • Humans
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / physiopathology*
  • Oximes
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon*


  • Oximes
  • Radiopharmaceuticals
  • hexamethylpropyleneamine oxime
  • Fluorodeoxyglucose F18