Cortical morphometry in anorexia nervosa: An out-of-sample replication study

Jenni Leppanen, Felicity Sedgewick, Valentina Cardi, Janet Treasure, Kate Tchanturia

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Acute anorexia nervosa (AN) is frequently accompanied by reduced global cortical volume. Investigations of local cortical alterations in AN have revealed widespread reduction in cortical thickness, gyrification, and curvature. The aim of the present study was to combine data from two previous studies to replicate previous findings.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) images from 46 adult women with AN and 54 age‐matched healthy comparison (HC) women were analysed using FreeSurfer. Group differences in cortical volume and local cortical measures, including gyrification, curvature, thickness, and area, were examined controlling for dataset and age.

The AN group had reduced global cortical volume relative to the HC group. The AN group also had reduction in local cortical gyrification, small localised clusters of reduced cortical thickness, in the occipital and parietal cortices, and surface area in the frontal and temporal cortices. The AN group also had increased cortical thickness in the ACC relative to the HC participants.

The present findings replicate and validate previous findings of reduced global cortical volume and local gyrification in acute AN. The findings highlight the need for further investigation of local cortical folding, thickness, and surface area in AN to gain further insight into the biological underpinnings of AN.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Early online date6 Jun 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Jun 2019


  • anorexia nervosa
  • cortical folding
  • cortical surface area
  • cortical thickness
  • replication study

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