A magnetic resonance imaging study of regional cortical volumes following stereotactic anterior cingulotomy

Rauch SL, Makris N, Cosgrove GR, Kim H, Cassem EH, Price BH, Baer L, Savage CR, Caviness VS, Jenike MA, Kennedy DN

CNS Spectr 2001 Mar;6(3):214-22

PMID: 16951656


The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that orbitofrontal cortical volume would be reduced following anterior cingulotomy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Whole brain cortical parcellation was performed on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data from nine patients, before and 9 (+/-6) months following anterior cingulotomy. No significant volumetric reductions were found in the orbitofrontal cortex. Exploratory findings of reduced volume in ventral temporo-fusiform and posterior cingulate regions were consistent with chance differences, in the face of multiple comparisons. Therefore, though the circumscribed lesions of anterior cingulotomy have recently been associated with corresponding volumetric reductions in the caudate nucleus, no comparable volumetric reductions are evident in cortical territories. Taken together, these results are most consistent with a model of cingulo-striatal perturbation as a putative mechanism for the efficacy of this procedure. While limitations in sensitivity may have also contributed to these negative findings, the methods employed have previously proven sufficient to detect cortical volumetric abnormalities in OCD. The current results may reflect a relatively diffuse pattern of cortico-cortical connections involving the neurons at the site of cingulotomy lesions. Future functional neuroimaging studies are warranted to assess possible cortical or subcortical metabolic changes associated with anterior cingulotomy, as well as predictors of treatment response.