Pituitary gland volume in at-risk mental state for psychosis: A longitudinal MRI analysis

Anna Walter, Erich Studerus, Renata Smieskova, Corinne Tamagni, Charlotte Rapp, Stefan J. Borgwardt, Anita Riecher-Rössler*

*Corresponding author for this work
8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction. Pituitary enlargement has been reported in individuals with schizophrenic psychosis or an at-risk mental state for psychosis (ARMS). In a previous study, our group could show pituitary volume increase in first episode and ARMS patients with later transition to psychosis (ARMS-T). However, there are no longitudinal studies on this issue so far. We therefore examined longitudinally whether transition to psychosis would be accompanied by a further increase of pituitary volume in antipsychotic-naïve ARMS patients. Methods. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data were acquired from 23 antipsychotic-naïve individuals with an ARMS. Ten subjects developed psychosis (ARMS-T) and 13 did not (ARMS-NT). ARMS-T were re-scanned after the onset of psychosis, and ARMS-NT were re-scanned at the end of the study period. Results. There was no significant difference of the pituitary volume between ARMS-T and ARMS-NT in our sample, and there were no significant pituitary volume changes over time. Discussion. Longitudinally, we could not detect any further volumetric changes in the pituitary volume with transition to psychosis. Conclusions. This, together with the result of our previous study, could indicate that the perceived level of stress in ARMS patients is constantly high from very early onward.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)122-129
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 26.02.2015


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