Original Paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 42, Issue 11, pp 2312-2322

First online:

A Two-Year Longitudinal MRI Study of the Corpus Callosum in Autism

  • Thomas W. FrazierAffiliated withCenter for Autism (CRS10) and Pediatric Behavioral Health, Cleveland Clinic Email author 
  • , Matcheri S. KeshavanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry, Beth Israel and Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School
  • , Nancy J. MinshewAffiliated withWestern Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • , Antonio Y. HardanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University

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A growing body of literature has identified size reductions of the corpus callosum (CC) in autism. However, to our knowledge, no published studies have reported on the growth of CC volumes in youth with autism. Volumes of the total CC and its sub-divisions were obtained from 23 male children with autism and 23 age- and gender-matched controls at baseline and 2-year follow-up. Persistent reductions in total CC volume were observed in participants with autism relative to controls. Only the rostral body subdivision showed a normalization of size over time. Persistent reductions are consistent with the diagnostic stability and life-long impairment observed in many individuals with autism. Multi-modal imaging studies are needed to identify specific fiber tracks contributing to CC reductions.


Magnetic resonance imaging Autism Corpus callosum Rostral body