Hypothalamic volume and asymmetry in the pediatric population: a retrospective MRI study

Işıklar S., Ozdemir S., Özkaya G., Özpar R.

BRAIN STRUCTURE & FUNCTION, vol.227, no.7, pp.2489-2501, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 227 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00429-022-02542-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.2489-2501
  • Keywords: Hypothalamus, Pediatrics, Development, Volume, Asymmetry, MRI, BRAIN-DEVELOPMENT, SCHIZOPHRENIA, GENDER, ATLAS
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


This study investigated age- and sex-related changes in the volumetric development and asymmetry of the normal hypothalamus from birth to 18. Individuals aged 0-18 with MRI from 2012 to 2020 were selected for this retrospective study. Seven hundred individuals (369 [52.7%] Males) who had 3D-T1 sequences and were radiologically normal were included in the study. Hypothalamus volume was calculated using MRICloud automated segmentation pipelines. Hypothalamus asymmetry was calculated as the difference between right and left volumes divided by the mean (in percent). The measurement results of 23 age groups were analyzed with SPSS (ver.23). The mean hypothalamic volume in the first year of life reached 69% of the mean hypothalamic volume between 0 and 18 years (1119.01 +/- 196.09 mm(3)), 88% in the second year. The mean volume of the hypothalamus without mammillary body increased in the five-age segment, while it increased in the six-age segment with mammillary body. Although the hypothalamus volumes of males were larger than females in all age groups, a significant difference was found between the age groups of 3-8 and 12-18 years (p < 0.05). In the pediatric brain, the hypothalamus was right-lateralized between 2.39% and 14.02%. The first 2 years of life were critical in the volumetric development of the hypothalamus. A segmental and logarithmic increase in the hypothalamus volume was demonstrated. In the pediatric brain, asymmetry and sexual dimorphism were detected in the hypothalamus. Information on normal hypothalamus structure and development facilitates the recognition of abnormal developmental trajectories.