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Incomplete Hippocampal Inversion: A Neurodevelopmental Mechanism for Hippocampal Shape Deformation in Schizophrenia

Published:February 23, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2022.02.954

      Abstract

      Background

      Shape analyses of patients with schizophrenia have revealed bilateral deformations of the anterolateral hippocampus, primarily localized to the CA1 subfield. Incomplete hippocampal inversion (IHI), an anatomical variant of the human hippocampus resulting from an arrest during neurodevelopment, is more prevalent and severe in patients with schizophrenia. We hypothesized that IHI would affect the shape of the hippocampus and contribute to hippocampal shape differences in schizophrenia.

      Methods

      We studied 199 patients with schizophrenia and 161 healthy control participants with structural magnetic resonance imaging to measure the prevalence and severity of IHI. High-fidelity hippocampal surface reconstructions were generated with the SPHARM-PDM toolkit. We used general linear models in SurfStat to test for group shape differences, the impact of IHI on hippocampal shape variation, and whether IHI contributes to hippocampal shape abnormalities in schizophrenia.

      Results

      Not including IHI as a main effect in our between-group comparison replicated well-established hippocampal shape differences in patients with schizophrenia localized to the CA1 subfield in the anterolateral hippocampus. Shape differences were also observed near the uncus and hippocampal tail. IHI was associated with outward displacements of the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the hippocampus and inward displacements of the medial and lateral surfaces. Including IHI as a main effect in our between-group comparison eliminated the bilateral shape differences in the CA1 subfield. Shape differences in the uncus persisted after including IHI.

      Conclusions

      IHI impacts hippocampal shape. Our results suggest IHI as a neurodevelopmental mechanism for the well-known shape differences, particularly in the CA1 subfield, in schizophrenia.

      Keywords

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