Objective: This study aimed to conduct a meta-analysis of published voxel-based morphometry studies in panic disorder (PD).
Methods: Six data sets consisting of patients with PD and healthy controls were enrolled for this meta-analysis. A new improved voxel-based meta-analytic tool, signed differential mapping, was used to explore deficits of gray matter volume in PD patients compared to the control group.
Results: Patients with PD had decreased regional gray matter volumes in right caudate head (uncorrected P = 0.0002) and right parahippocampal gyrus (uncorrected P = 0.0005). These regions could be confirmed in the following jackknife sensitivity analysis. The meta-regression results showed that the included patients with more severe PD tended to have more deficits of gray matter volume in the right basal ganglion (uncorrected P = 0.0008).
Conclusions: Patients with PD possibly have decreased gray matter volumes in the striatolimbic areas. However, more studies with whole-brain voxel-based morphometry in PD and first-episode drug-naive studies might elucidate structural deficits.