Brain Structural Changes in Schizophrenia Patients Compared to the Control: An MRI-based Cavalieri’s Method

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)

Schizophrenia is a severe psychotic brain disorder. One of the potential mechanisms underlying this disease may be volumetric changes in some brain regions. The present study aimed to employ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to estimate and quantitatively analyze the brain of patients with schizophrenia compared to the controls.


This case-control study was conducted on MRI scans of 20 patients with schizophrenia and 20 healthy controls in Zahedan City, Southeastern Iran. MRIs with 4 mm slice thickness and 5 mm intervals in coronal and sagittal planes were captured. Then, quantitative parameters, including volume and volume density of various brain regions, were estimated in both groups using Cavalieri’s point counting method. Data analyses were performed using the Mann-Whitney U test. 


The findings of this investigation revealed that volumes of gray matter, hippocampus, and gray/white matter in patients with schizophrenia were significantly lower than the controls (P˂0.05). The volumes of lateral ventricles in patients with schizophrenia (36.60±4.32 mm3) were significantly higher than the healthy individuals (30.10±7.98 mm3). However, there were no statistically significant differences between the two groups regarding the changes in the brain’s total volume, cerebral hemispheres, white matter, brain stem, cerebellum, and corpus callosum (P˃0.05). 


Volumetric estimations on brain MRI-based stereological technique can be helpful for elucidation of structural changes, following up the treatment trends, and evaluating the therapeutic situations in schizophrenia patients. Volumetric alternations in specific brain areas might be linked to cognitive impairments and the severity of symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. Further research is needed in this regard.

Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Volume:14 Issue: 3, May-Jun 2023
355 to 364  
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