Neuroanatomical abnormalities in schizophrenia: a multimodal voxelwise meta-analysis and meta-regression analysis

Schizophr Res. 2011 Apr;127(1-3):46-57. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2010.12.020.


Despite an increasing number of published voxel based morphometry studies of schizophrenia, there has been no adequate attempt to examine gray (GM) and white matter (WM) abnormalities and the heterogeneity of published findings. In the current article, we used a coordinate based meta-analysis technique to simultaneously examine GM and WM abnormalities in schizophrenia and to assess the effects of gender, chronicity, negative symptoms and other clinical variables. 79 studies meeting our inclusion criteria were included in the meta-analysis. Schizophrenia was associated with GM reductions in the bilateral insula/inferior frontal cortex, superior temporal gyrus, anterior cingulate gyrus/medial frontal cortex, thalamus and left amygdala. In WM analyses of volumetric and diffusion-weighted images, schizophrenia was associated with decreased FA and/or WM in interhemispheric fibers, anterior thalamic radiation, inferior longitudinal fasciculi, inferior frontal occipital fasciculi, cingulum and fornix. Male gender, chronic illness and negative symptoms were associated with more severe GM abnormalities and illness chronicity was associated with more severe WM deficits. The meta-analyses revealed overlapping GM and WM structural findings in schizophrenia, characterized by bilateral anterior cortical, limbic and subcortical GM abnormalities, and WM changes in regions including tracts that connect these structures within and between hemispheres. However, the available findings are biased towards characteristics of schizophrenia samples with poor prognosis.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping*
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*