Brain structural correlates of depressive comorbidity in obsessive-compulsive disorder

Narcís Cardoner, Carles Soriano-Mas, Jesús Pujol, Pino Alonso, Ben J. Harrison, Joan Deus, Rosa Hernández-Ribas, José M. Menchón, Julio Vallejo

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50 Citations (Scopus)


The high comorbidity of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) with major depressive disorder (MDD) suggests common neurobiological substrates. We assessed the contribution of lifetime MDD to brain structural alterations in OCD using magnetic resonance imaging. OCD patients with (n = 33) or without (n = 39) lifetime MDD, and 72 control subjects were assessed. Comparative region of interest (ROI) analyses assessed the contribution of lifetime MDD to gray matter volume alterations in OCD patients. Interregional correlations of gray matter volume were also examined and voxelwise analyses were performed to identify alterations in other brain regions. OCD patients with lifetime MDD showed a larger reduction of medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC) gray matter volume. Both OCD groups showed distinct correlations of mOFC gray matter volume with other relevant brain regions. For patients with MDD, this involved the medial frontal gyrus, and right insula and amygdala regions, whereas for those OCD patients without MDD, the rostral anterior cingulate cortex was involved. Our findings support existing evidence suggesting a non-specific involvement of mOFC alterations in a range of neuropsychiatric disorders. Nevertheless, volume reduction in this region, together with an abnormal pattern of interregional correlations with other emotion-relevant brain areas, may contribute to explain the diathesis for MDD comorbidity in OCD. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-421
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2007


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