Hippocampus, amygdala, and basal ganglia morphometrics in children after moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury


* Correspondence to first author at Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, Baylor College of Medicine, 1709 Dryden Road, Ste 725, Houston, TX, 77030 USA. E-mail: ewilde@bcm.tmc.edu


While closed head injury frequently results in damage to the frontal and temporal lobes, damage to deep cortical structures, such as the hippocampus, amygdala, and basal ganglia, has also been reported. Five deep central structures (hippocampus, amygdala, globus pallidus, putamen, and caudate) were examined in 16 children (eight males, eight females; aged 9–16y), imaged 1 to 10 years after moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), and in 16 individually-matched uninjured children. Analysis revealed significant volume loss in the hippocampus, amydala, and globus pallidus of the TBI group. Investigation of relative volume loss between these structures and against five cortical areas (ventromedial frontal, superomedial frontal, lateral frontal, temporal, and parieto-occipital) revealed the hippocampus to be the most vulnerable structure following TBI (i.e. greatest relative difference between the groups). In a separate analysis excluding children with focal hippocampal abnormalities (e.g. lesions), group differences in hippocampal volume were still evident, suggesting that hippocampal damage may be diffuse rather than focal.