Hippocampal subfield volumes in children and adolescents with mood disorders

Jonika Tannous, Henrique Amaral-Silva, Bo Cao, Mon Ju Wu, Giovana B. Zunta-Soares, Iram Kazimi, Cristian Zeni, Benson Mwangi, Jair C. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The hippocampus has been implicated in various mood disorders, with global volume deficits consistently found in patient populations. The hippocampus, however, consists of anatomically distinct subfields, and examination of specific subfield differences may elucidate the possible molecular mechanisms behind psychiatric pathologies. Indeed, adult studies have reported smaller hippocampal subfield volumes in regions within the cornu ammonis (CA1 and CA4), dentate gyrus (DG), and hippocampal tails in both patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Bipolar Disorder (BD) compared to healthy controls. Subfield differences in pediatric patients with mood disorders, on the other hand, have not been extensively investigated. In the current study, magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired for 141 children and adolescents between the ages of eight and eighteen (57 with BD, 30 with MDD, and 54 healthy controls). An automated segmentation method was then used to assess differences in hippocampal subfield volumes. Children and adolescents with BD were found to have significantly smaller volumes in the right CA1, CA4, and right subiculum, as well as the bilateral granule cell layer (GCL), molecular layer (ML), and hippocampal tails. The volume of the right subiculum in BD patients was also found to be negatively correlated with illness duration. Overall, the findings from this cross-sectional study provide evidence for specific hippocampal subfield volume differences in children and adolescents with BD compared to healthy controls and suggest progressive reductions with increased illness duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-62
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Jun 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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