Clinical utility of magnetic resonance imaging in first-episode psychosis

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29 Citations (Scopus)


BackgroundThere is no consensus as to whether magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) should be used as part of the initial clinical evaluation of patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP).Aims(a) To assess the logistical feasibility of routine MRI; (b) to define the clinical significance of radiological abnormalities in patients with FEP.MethodRadiological reports from MRI scans of two FEP samples were reviewed; one comprised 108 patients and 98 healthy controls recruited to a research study and the other comprised 241 patients scanned at initial clinical presentation plus 66 healthy controls.ResultsIn the great majority of patients, MRI was logistically feasible. Radiological abnormalities were reported in 6% of the research sample and in 15% of the clinical sample (odds ratio (OR)=3.1, 95% CI 1.26-7.57, χ2(1) = 6.63, P = 0.01). None of the findings necessitated a change in clinical management.ConclusionsRates of neuroradiological abnormalities in FEP are likely to be underestimated in research samples that often exclude patients with organic abnormalities. However, the majority of findings do not require intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalThe British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Brain/pathology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroimaging
  • Psychotic Disorders/diagnostic imaging
  • Young Adult


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