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The size and prevalence of the cavum septum pellucidum are normal in subjects with panic disorder

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Author(s): Crippa J.A.S. | Uchida R. | Busatto G.F. | Guimarães F.S. | Del-Ben C.M. | Zuardi A.W. | Santos A.C. | Araújo D. | McGuire P.K. | Graeff F.G.

Journal: Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research
ISSN 0100-879X

Volume: 37;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 371;
Date: 2004;
Original page

Keywords: Cavum septum pellucidum | Panic disorder | Neuroimaging | Magnetic resonance imaging

ABSTRACT
Panic disorder is thought to involve dysfunction in the septohippocampal system, and the presence of a cavum septum pellucidum might indicate the aberrant development of this system. We compared the prevalence and size of cavum septum pellucidum in 21 patients with panic disorder and in 21 healthy controls by magnetic resonance imaging. The length of the cavum septum pellucidum was measured by counting the number of consecutive 1-mm coronal slices in which it appeared. A cavum septum pellucidum of >6 mm in length was rated as large. There was no significant difference in the proportion of patients (16 of 21 or 76.2%) and controls (18 of 21 or 85.7%) with a cavum septum pellucidum (P = 0.35, Fisher's exact test, one-tailed), and no members of either group had a large cavum septum pellucidum. The mean cavum septum pellucidum rating in the patient and control groups was 1.81 (SD = 1.50) and 2.09 (SD = 1.51), respectively. There were also no significant differences between groups when we analyzed cavum septum pellucidum ratings as a continuous variable (U = 196.5; P = 0.54). Across all subjects there was a trend towards a higher prevalence of cavum septum pellucidum in males (100%, 10 of 10) than females (75%, 24 of 32; P = 0.09, Fisher's exact test, one-tailed). Thus, we conclude that, while panic disorder may involve septo-hippocampal dysfunction, it is not associated with an increased prevalence or size of the cavum septum pellucidum.
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