Gray matter deficits in panic disorder: a pilot study of meta-analysis

J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2011 Jun;31(3):287-93. doi: 10.1097/JCP.0b013e31821a1045.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Atrophy / complications
  • Atrophy / pathology
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods
  • Humans
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology*
  • Panic Disorder / complications
  • Panic Disorder / pathology*
  • Pilot Projects