Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of ijpsychHomeCurrent issueInstructionsSubmit article
Indian J Psychiatry. 2003 Jul-Sep; 45(3): 147–150.
PMCID: PMC2952158

Enlargement of the Third Ventricle in affective disorders


Introduction :

There have been inconsistent reports of dilation of the third ventricle (lll-V) in bipolar disorder. Within the lateral walls of lll-V are hypothalamic nuclei which mediate the neuroendocrine, sleep, appetite and autonomic disturbances which characterise a depressive episode.

Methods :

The lll-V width, immediately anterior to the mamillary bodies, was measured in 74 bipolar I or II subjects (m=25, f=49, mean age 36.1(1 l.3yr) and 33 healthy controls (m= 17, f= 16, mean age 35.6( 12.6yr) from MRI coronal inversion recovery scans.

Results :

Bipolar subjects had significantly (t=2.l6,p=0.03) wider lll-V (0.45(0.15cm) than controls (0.40(0.12cm). Examining data with a General Linear Model with gender and diagnoses as categoric variables and age as a continuous variable, lll-V width depended significantly on gender (p=O.OI6), age (p< 0.00l) and differed significantly (p=0.03) between bipolar subjects and controls. The rate of lll-V dilation was estimated to be 0.0048cm/yr in male bipolar subjects and 0.0040cm/yr in females.

Comment :

Bipolar disorder is associated with increased lll-V width and progressive dilation. It is proposed that dilation may be associated with dysfunction of hypothalamic nuclei in the lll-V lateral walls.

Keywords: Magnetic resonance imaging, bipolar affective disorder, newco radiology, third ventricle volume

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (210K).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Brambilla P, Harenski K, Nicoletti M, Mallinger AG, Frank E, Kupfer DJ, Keshavan MS, Soares JC. MRI study of posterior fossa structures and brain ventricles in bipolar patients. J Psychiatr Res. 2001 Nov-Dec;35(6):313–322. [PubMed]
  • Dahabra S, Ashton CH, Bahrainian M, Britton PG, Ferrier IN, McAllister VA, Marsh VR, Moore PB. Structural and functional abnormalities in elderly patients clinically recovered from early- and late-onset depression. Biol Psychiatry. 1998 Jul 1;44(1):34–46. [PubMed]
  • Doraiswamy PM, Krishnan KR, Figiel GS, Husain MM, Boyko OB, Rockwell WJ, Ellinwood EH., Jr A brain magnetic resonance imaging study of pituitary gland morphology in anorexia nervosa and bulimia. Biol Psychiatry. 1990 Jul 15;28(2):110–116. [PubMed]
  • Doraiswamy PM, Krishnan KR, Boyko OB, Husain MM, Figiel GS, Palese VJ, Escalona PR, Shah SA, McDonald WM, Rockwell WJ, et al. Pituitary abnormalities in eating disorders: further evidence from MRI studies. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 1991;15(3):351–356. [PubMed]
  • El-Badri SM, Ashton CH, Moore PB, Marsh VR, Ferrier IN. Electrophysiological and cognitive function in young euthymic patients with bipolar affective disorder. Bipolar Disord. 2001 Apr;3(2):79–87. [PubMed]
  • Krishnan KR, Doraiswamy PM, Lurie SN, Figiel GS, Husain MM, Boyko OB, Ellinwood EH, Jr, Nemeroff CB. Pituitary size in depression. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1991 Feb;72(2):256–259. [PubMed]
  • Moore PB, Shepherd DJ, Eccleston D, Macmillan IC, Goswami U, McAllister VL, Ferrier IN. Cerebral white matter lesions in bipolar affective disorder: relationship to outcome. Br J Psychiatry. 2001 Feb;178:172–176. [PubMed]
  • Sassi RB, Nicoletti M, Brambilla P, Harenski K, Mallinger AG, Frank E, Kupfer DJ, Keshavan MS, Soares JC. Decreased pituitary volume in patients with bipolar disorder. Biol Psychiatry. 2001 Aug 15;50(4):271–280. [PubMed]
  • Schwartz PJ, Loe JA, Bash CN, Bove K, Turner EH, Frank JA, Wehr TA, Rosenthal NE. Seasonality and pituitary volume. Psychiatry Res. 1997 Jul 4;74(3):151–157. [PubMed]
  • Soares JC, Mann JJ. The anatomy of mood disorders--review of structural neuroimaging studies. Biol Psychiatry. 1997 Jan 1;41(1):86–106. [PubMed]
  • Starkstein SE, Robinson RG, Price TR. Comparison of patients with and without poststroke major depression matched for size and location of lesion. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988 Mar;45(3):247–252. [PubMed]
  • Strakowski SM, Wilson DR, Tohen M, Woods BT, Douglass AW, Stoll AL. Structural brain abnormalities in first-episode mania. Biol Psychiatry. 33(8-9):602–609. [PubMed]

Articles from Indian Journal of Psychiatry are provided here courtesy of Wolters Kluwer -- Medknow Publications