Systematic reduction of gray matter volume in anorexia nervosa, but relative enlargement with clinical symptoms in the prefrontal and posterior insular cortices: a multicenter neuroimaging study

Keima Tose, Tsunehiko Takamura, Masanori Isobe, Yoshiyuki Hirano, Yasuhiro Sato, Naoki Kodama, Kazufumi Yoshihara, Norihide Maikusa, Yoshiya Moriguchi, Tomomi Noda, Ryo Mishima, Michiko Kawabata, Shun'ichi Noma, Shu Takakura, Motoharu Gondo, Shingo Kakeda, Masatoshi Takahashi, Satoru Ide, Hiroaki Adachi, Sayo HamataniRio Kamashita, Yusuke Sudo, Koji Matsumoto, Michiko Nakazato, Noriko Numata, Yumi Hamamoto, Tomotaka Shoji, Tomohiko Muratsubaki, Motoaki Sugiura, Toshiya Murai, Shin Fukudo, Atsushi Sekiguchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

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2 Citations (Scopus)
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Although brain morphological abnormalities have been reported in anorexia nervosa (AN), the reliability and reproducibility of previous studies were limited due to insufficient sample sizes, which prevented exploratory analysis of the whole brain as opposed to regions of interest (ROIs). Objective was to identify brain morphological abnormalities in AN and the association with severity of AN by brain structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in a multicenter study, and to conduct exploratory analysis of the whole brain. Here, we conducted a cross-sectional multicenter study using T1-weighted imaging (T1WI) data collected between May 2014 and February 2019 in Japan. We analyzed MRI data from 103 female AN patients (58 anorexia nervosa restricting type [ANR] and 45 anorexia nervosa binge-purging type [ANBP]) and 102 age-matched female healthy controls (HC). MRI data from five centers were preprocessed using the latest harmonization method to correct for intercenter differences. Gray matter volume (GMV) was calculated from T1WI data of all participants. Of the 205 participants, we obtained severity of eating disorder symptom scores from 179 participants, including 87 in the AN group (51 ANR, 36 ANBP) and 92 HC using the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q) 6.0. GMV reduction were observed in the AN brain, including the bilateral cerebellum, middle and posterior cingulate gyrus, supplementary motor cortex, precentral gyrus medial segment, and thalamus. In addition, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), rostral anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and posterior insula volumes showed positive correlations with severity of symptoms. This multicenter study was conducted with a large sample size to identify brain morphological abnormalities in AN. The findings provide a better understanding of the pathogenesis of AN and have potential for the development of brain imaging biomarkers of AN. Trial Registration: UMIN000017456.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Early online date22 Jan 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

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