Amygdala and regional volumes in treatment-resistant versus nontreatment-resistant depression patients

Anca-Larisa Sandu, Eric Artiges, André Galinowski, Thierry Gallarda, Frank Bellivier, Hervé Lemaitre, Bernard Granger, Damien Ringuenet, Eleni T Tzavara, Jean-Luc Martinot, Marie-Laure Paillère Martinot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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BACKGROUND: Although treatment-resistant and nontreatment-resistant depressed patients show structural brain anomalies relative to healthy controls, the difference in regional volumetry between these two groups remains undocumented.

METHODS: A whole-brain voxel-based morphometry (VBM) analysis of regional volumes was performed in 125 participants' magnetic resonance images obtained on a 1.5 Tesla scanner; 41 had treatment-resistant depression (TRD), 40 nontreatment-resistant depression (non-TRD), and 44 were healthy controls. The groups were comparable for age and gender. Bipolar/unipolar features as well as pharmacological treatment classes were taken into account as covariates.

RESULTS: TRD patients had higher gray matter (GM) volume in the left and right amygdala than non-TRD patients. No difference was found between the TRD bipolar and the TRD unipolar patients, or between the non-TRD bipolar and non-TRD unipolar patients. An exploratory analysis showed that lithium-treated patients in both groups had higher GM volume in the superior and middle frontal gyri in both hemispheres.

CONCLUSIONS: Higher GM volume in amygdala detected in TRD patients might be seen in perspective with vulnerability to chronicity, revealed by medication resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1071
Number of pages7
JournalDepression and Anxiety
Early online date9 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017

Bibliographical note

Funded by
•Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP) and the French Health Ministry. Grant Number: PHRC/AOM-98099
•French Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM). Grant Number: INSERM-PROGRES A99013LS


  • Journal Article
  • biological markers
  • bipolar disorder
  • brain imaging/neuroimaging
  • depression
  • treatment resistance


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