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An MRI study of brain size in autism.

OBJECTIVE: This study was undertaken to obtain detailed measurements of the volume of the brain, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in a carefully selected group of autistic subjects and comparison subjects. METHOD: Twenty-two male autistic subjects and 20 male volunteer comparison subjects were examined with detailed (1.5-mm slices) MRI throughout the entire brain. Total brain, total brain tissue, and total lateral ventricle volumes were measured by using manual tracing and automated techniques. RESULTS: After height and performance IQ were controlled, autistic subjects had significantly greater total brain, total tissue, and total lateral ventricle volumes than comparison subjects. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that male autistic subjects have enlarged brains and that enlargement is a result of both greater brain tissue volume and greater lateral ventricle volume.

Pubmed ID: 7625461


  • Piven J
  • Arndt S
  • Bailey J
  • Havercamp S
  • Andreasen NC
  • Palmer P


The American journal of psychiatry

Publication Data

August 31, 1995

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH-01028
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH-40856
  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH-51217

Mesh Terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Body Height
  • Brain
  • Cerebral Ventricles
  • Humans
  • Intelligence
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Sex Factors