Ventricular enlargement in schizophrenia: relationship to positive and negative symptoms

Am J Psychiatry. 1982 Mar;139(3):297-302. doi: 10.1176/ajp.139.3.297.


The authors explored the clinical correlates of ventricular enlargement in schizophrenia by comparing 16 patients with "large" ventricles (ventricles more than I SD above the control mean) with 16 patients with the smallest ventricles from a sample of 52 schizophrenic patients. Patients with ventricular enlargement showed some impairment in the sensorium and had a preponderance of "negative" symptoms (e.g., alogia, affective flattening, avolition, anhedonia), while those with small ventricles were characterized by "positive" symptoms (e.g., delusions, hallucinations, positive formal thought disorder, bizarre behavior). These findings suggest that combining a measure of brain structure with the clinical picture may provide a useful new approach to the classification of schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cerebral Ventricles / pathology*
  • Electroconvulsive Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Male
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / pathology
  • Neurocognitive Disorders / psychology
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Schizophrenia / pathology*
  • Schizophrenia / therapy
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Social Adjustment
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed