Imaging of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2020 Feb;30(1):115-123. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2019.09.010. Epub 2019 Nov 9.


This review summarizes current knowledge obtained from psychoradiological studies of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We first focus on 3 key anatomic structures (hippocampus, amygdala, and medial prefrontal cortex) and the functional circuits to which they contribute. In addition, we discuss the triple-network model, a widely accepted neurobiological model of PTSD that explains the vast majority of neuroimaging findings, as well as their interactions and relationships to functional disruptions in PTSD.

Keywords: Diffusion MR imaging; Functional MR imaging; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Psychoradiology; Structural MR imaging.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amygdala / diagnostic imaging
  • Amygdala / pathology*
  • Emotional Regulation
  • Executive Function
  • Hippocampus / diagnostic imaging
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neuroimaging / methods*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / diagnostic imaging
  • Prefrontal Cortex / pathology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / pathology*