Objectives: 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS), also known as velocardiofacial syndrome (VCFS) or DiGeorge Syndrome, is a genetic disorder due to a micro deletion on chromosome 22q11.2. VCFS is associated with abnormalities in brain structure and with an increased risk of psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia. The aim of this review was to statistically summarize the structural imaging literature on VCFS which due to the relatively rarity of the disorder tends to consider small sample sizes.
Method: A systematic review and meta-analysis of region of interest (ROI) studies comparing VCFS with healthy controls was carried out. Significant heterogeneity was explored using meta-regression.
Results: Subjects with VCFS were characterised by global brain volumetric reduction including several cortical regions, cerebellum and hippocampus. The area of the corpus callosum was increased.
Conclusions: Many regions extensively studied in schizophrenia were not covered in the existing VCFS literature. However, the studies considered support volumetric abnormalities which may help explain why VCFS is associated with a greatly increased risk of psychosis and other psychiatric disorders.