Cortical abnormalities associated with pediatric and adult obsessive-compulsive disorder: Findings from the enigma obsessive-compulsive disorder working group

Premika S.W. Boedhoe, Lianne Schmaal, Yoshinari Abe, Pino Alonso, Stephanie H. Ameis, Alan Anticevic, Paul D. Arnold, Marcelo C. Batistuzzo, Francesco Benedetti, Jan C. Beucke, Irene Bollettini, Anushree Bose, Silvia Brem, Anna Calvo, Rosa Calvo, Yuqi Cheng, Kang Ik K. Cho, Valentina Ciullo, Sara Dallaspezia, Damiaan DenysJamie D. Feusner, Kate D. Fitzgerald, Jean Paul Fouche, Egill A. Fridgeirsson, Patricia Gruner, Gregory L. Hanna, Derrek P. Hibar, Marcelo Q. Hoexter, Hao Hu, Chaim Huyser, Neda Jahanshad, Anthony James, Norbert Kathmann, Christian Kaufmann, Kathrin Koch, Jun Soo Kwon, Luisa Lazaro, Christine Lochner, Rachel Marsh, Ignacio Martínez-Zalacaín, David Mataix-Cols, José M. Menchón, Luciano Minuzzi, Astrid Morer, Takashi Nakamae, Tomohiro Nakao, Janardhanan C. Narayanaswamy, Seiji Nishida, Erika Nurmi, Joseph O'Neill, John Piacentini, Fabrizio Piras, Federica Piras, Y. C.Janardhan Reddy, Tim J. Reess, Yuki Sakai, Joao R. Sato, H. Blair Simpson, Noam Soreni, Carles Soriano-Mas, Gianfranco Spalletta, Michael C. Stevens, Philip R. Szeszko, David F. Tolin, Guido A. Van Wingen, Ganesan Venkatasubramanian, Susanne Walitza, Zhen Wang, Je Yeon Yun, Paul M. Thompson, Dan J. Stein, Odile A. Van Den Heuvel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

163 Scopus citations


Objective: Brain imaging studies of structural abnormalities in OCD have yielded inconsistent results, partly because of limited statistical power, clinical heterogeneity, and methodological differences. The authors conducted meta- and mega-analyses comprising the largest study of cortical morphometry in OCD ever undertaken. Method: T1-weighted MRI scans of 1,905 OCD patients and 1,760 healthy controls from 27 sites worldwide were processed locally using FreeSurfer to assess cortical thickness and surface area. Effect sizes for differences between patients and controls, and associations with clinical characteristics, were calculated using linear regression models controlling for age, sex, site, and intracranial volume. Results: In adult OCD patients versus controls, we found a significantly lower surface area for the transverse temporal cortexand a thinner inferiorparietalcortex.Medicated adult OCD patients also showed thinner cortices throughout the brain. In pediatric OCD patients compared with controls, we found significantly thinner inferior and superior parietal cortices, but none of the regions analyzed showedsignificant differences in surface area. However, medicated pediatric OCD patients had lower surface area in frontal regions. Cohen's d effect sizes varied from 20.10 to 20.33. Conclusions: The parietal cortex was consistently implicated in both adults and children with OCD. More widespread cortical thickness abnormalities were found in medicated adult OCD patients, and more pronounced surface area deficits (mainly in frontal regions) were found in medicated pediatric OCD patients. These cortical measures represent distinct morphological features and may be differentially affected during different stages of development and illness, and possibly moderated by disease profile and medication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-462
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


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