Structural deficits in the hippocampus have been implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. However the role played by structural impairments in the hippocampus in the memory deficits of schizophrenic patients remains unclear. Magnetic resonance imaging was used in this study to investigate left, right, anterior and posterior hippocampal volume and density in 28 schizophrenic patients and 33 normal controls. Voxel-based morphometry analysis showed that schizophrenics had significantly lower density in the right and posterior hippocampus than controls. MRI stereological analysis revealed significant differences in left posterior hippocampus than controls. MRI stereological analysis revealed significant differences in anterior and posterior on both sides, with the left posterior region predominating. Schizophrenics showed significant impairments in verbal learning and long term retention (P<0.001). The correlation analyses between hippocampal density and memory variables yielded a significant correlation between forgetting and density of the anterior hippocampus. These findings support the hypothesis of a regional atrophy within the hippocampus in schizophrenic patients.