Cingulate fasciculus integrity disruption in schizophrenia: a magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging study

Kubicki M, Westin CF, Nestor PG, Wible CG, Frumin M, Maier SE, Kikinis R, Jolesz FA, McCarley RW, Shenton ME

Biol. Psychiatry 2003 Dec;54(11):1171-80

PMID: 14643084


Evidence suggests that a disruption in limbic system network integrity and, in particular, the cingulate gyrus (CG), may play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; however, the cingulum bundle (CB), the white matter tract furnishing both input and output to CG, and the most prominent white matter fiber tract in the limbic system, has not been evaluated in schizophrenia using the new technology of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). We used line scan DTI to evaluate diffusion in the CB in 16 male schizophrenia patients and 18 male control subjects, group-matched for age, parental socioeconomic status, and handedness. We acquired 4-mm-thick coronal slices through the entire brain. Maps of fractional anisotropy (FA) were generated to quantify diffusion within the left and right CB on eight slices that included the central portion of the CB. Results showed group differences, bilaterally, in area and mean FA for CB, where patients showed smaller area and less anisotropy than controls. For patients, decreased left CB correlated significantly with attention and working memory measures as assessed by the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test. These data provide strong evidence for CB disruptions in schizophrenia, which may be related to disease-related attention and working memory abnormalities.