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Measurement of the orbitofrontal cortex: a validation study of a new method NEUROIMAGE Lacerda, A. L., Hardan, A. Y., Yorbik, O., Keshavan, M. S. 2003; 19 (3): 665-673


The orbital frontal cortex (OFC) plays a critical role in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders. Few morphometric neuroimaging studies have examined the OFC using different methodologies and have reported discrepant values. Substantial variability in gyri and sulci across individuals as well as unclear landmarks underline the difficulties in obtaining accurate and reliable measurements. We propose a new geometrical method for measuring the OFC taking into account individual brain variability. The OFC was defined by using the intercommissural line and the inferior edge of the frontal lobe as the main landmarks. The medial and lateral subdivisions of OFC were also separately measured using the olfactory sulcus as the boundary to distinguish between them. After resampling and refitting, 10 scans were independently traced by two trained researchers using BRAINS software. Talairach coordinates were identified on each scan from the OFC and surrounding adjacent brain regions to assess the validity of this method. Brain regions were assigned using Talairach Daemon system. OFC volumes were comparable with those previously reported. Sensitivity and specificity for OFC gray matter were 87.6 and 84.8%, respectively. Intraclass coefficients (ICCs) for gray, white, and total OFC were 0.995, 0.994, and 0.997, respectively. ICCs for OFC medial and lateral subdivisions ranged between 0.996 and 0.998. This method appears to be a valid method for measuring the OFC with excellent reliability. This uncomplicated approach is easy to apply and has the potential to be a valuable alternative to the previously published methods.

View details for DOI 10.1016/S1053(03)00137-X

View details for Web of Science ID 000184485400017

View details for PubMedID 12880797