Volume of the pineal gland in schizophrenia; an MRI study

Schizophr Res. 1995 Feb;14(3):253-5. doi: 10.1016/0920-9964(94)00077-l.


Pineal gland abnormality has been proposed as a possible biological defect in schizophrenia. This study was designed to investigate volumetric differences of the pineal gland using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Patients with a DSM-III-R diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder (n = 45) and normal controls (n = 86) were scanned using a 1.5 Tesla scanner. The volume of the pineal was obtained by blind manual tracing of the gland on T1 weighted images, using locally developed software, BRAINS. The inter-rater reliability (n = 25) yielded an intraclass r of 0.92. Comparison of the volumes by t-test showed no significant difference between patients and normal controls (p = 0.77). This study, backed by a large sample size, suggests that there are no volumetric differences between schizophrenic patients and controls in regard to the pineal gland.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pineal Gland / abnormalities*
  • Pineal Gland / diagnostic imaging
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Radiography
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*