An MRI-based approach for the measurement of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in humans

Marsal Sanches, Sheila Caetano, Mark Nicoletti, E. Serap Monkul, Hua Hsuan Chen, John P. Hatch, Ping Hong Yeh, Rachel L. Mullis, Matcheri S. Keshavan, Grazyna Rajowska, Jair C. Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) has been implicated in the pathophysiology of mental disorders. Previous region-of-interest MRI studies that attempted to delineate this region adopted various landmarks and measurement techniques, with inconsistent results. We developed a new region-of-interest measurement method to obtain morphometric data of this region from structural MRI scans, taking into account knowledge from cytoarchitectonic postmortem studies and the large inter-individual variability of this region. MRI scans of 10 subjects were obtained, and DLPFC tracing was performed in the coronal plane by two independent raters using the semi-automated software Brains2. The intra-class correlation coefficients between two independent raters were 0.94 for the left DLPFC and 0.93 for the right DLPFC. The mean ± S.D. DLPFC volumes were 9.23 ± 2.35 ml for the left hemisphere and 8.20 ± 2.08 ml for the right hemisphere. Our proposed method has high inter-rater reliability and is easy to implement, permitting the standardized measurement of this region for clinical research applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatry Research - Neuroimaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 30 2009


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Depression
  • Neuroimaging
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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