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Objective: We objectively evaluated the presence or absence of atrophy of the subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sgACC) and the subcallosal anterior cingulate cortex (scACC), using new voxel-based morphometry (VBM) software employing Statistical Parametric Mapping software v8 and diffeomorphic anatomic registration through an exponentiated lie algebra. We prepared a database covering young-mature adulthood and investigated the clinical usefulness of the evaluation.
Subjects and methods: One hundred seven patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), 74 patients with bipolar disorder (BD), and 240 healthy control subjects underwent 1.5T magnetic resonance imaging scanning. Using new VBM software and databases covering young-mature adults and the elderly, target volumes of interest were set in the sgACC and scACC, four indicators (severity, extent, ratio, and whole-brain extent) were determined, and the presence or absence of atrophy of the sgACC and scACC was evaluated on the basis of the indicators. In addition, the relationships between the presence or absence of atrophy of the sgACC and scACC and performance of diagnosing MDD and BD and therapeutic drugs were investigated.
Results: It was clarified that the disease is likely to be MDD when atrophy is detected in the sgACC, and likely to be BD when no atrophy is detected in the sgACC but is detected in the scACC. Regarding the relationship with therapeutic drugs, it was clarified that, when atrophy is detected in both the sgACC and the scACC, concomitant administration of mood stabilizers and atypical antipsychotics acting as dopamine-system stabilizers is necessary in many cases.
Conclusion: VBM on magnetic resonance imaging enabled automatic analysis of atrophy in the sgACC and scACC, and findings obtained by this procedure are useful not only for differentiation of MDD and BD patients but also for selection of prescriptions.