Hippocampal volume in subjects at clinical high-risk for psychosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Anna Walter*, Claudia Suenderhauf, Fabienne Harrisberger, Claudia Lenz, Renata Smieskova, Yoonho Chung, Tyrone D. Cannon, Carrie E. Bearden, Charlotte Rapp, Kerstin Bendfeldt, Stefan Borgwardt, Tobias Vogel

*Corresponding author for this work
25 Citations (Scopus)


Several magnetic resonance imaging studies have reported reductions in hippocampal volume in patients with psychosis. It is unclear whether structural abnormalities predate illness onset. We conducted a detailed, systematic literature search for studies reporting hippocampal volume in subjects with clinical high-risk, compared to healthy controls. The overall sample size comprised 1429 subjects. Meta-analysis revealed no difference for left, but a small, albeit significant, difference for right hippocampal volume, such that clinical high-risk patients had slightly smaller hippocampal volume than healthy controls (g = 0.24, p = 0.0418). Meta-regression indicated a moderating effect of manual tracing approach, due to one outlying site. The small difference on the right side did not remain significant (g = 0.14, 95%CI = [−0.03–0.32], p = 0.11) after removal of this outlier. This meta-analysis suggests that there is no reduction in hippocampal volume before transition to psychosis and hippocampal volume cannot be used as a biomarker in clinical high-risk individuals.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Pages (from-to)680-690
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2016


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