Significance of morphological features in schizophrenia of a Chinese population

Chun-Jung Huang, H.-J. Chiu, Tsuo-Hung Lan, H.-F. Wang, Sheng W. Kuo, Shuo-Fei Chen, Yen-Hsin Yu, Yun-Ru Liu, Tsung-Ming Hu, E.-W. Loh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Neuro-developmental hypothesis suggests that schizophrenia is originated from aberrant brain development during first and/or early trimester of gestation. Accordingly, when a schizophrenia gene is involved in the regulation of embryonic development and continues to play a role in the later life, it may result in the co-occurrence of defective organ systems and/or physiological functions with schizophrenia. We proposed a checklist with 13 morphological features and examine their prevalence rates in 151 schizophrenic patients and 151 controls. Statistical analyses showed that single transverse palmar crease, head circumference, covered epicanthus, finger length difference, and inner canthus distance, made significant contributions to schizophrenia. To rule out the age confounding effects on morphological features, we dropped older schizophrenic subjects and younger controls in further regression analysis. The regression model correctly classified 82.8% of control subjects (specificity) and 86.4% of schizophrenic patients (sensitivity), and provided an overall successful classification rate of 84.5%, with single transverse palmar crease on the first rank. The association of morphological features and schizophrenia is probably genetic in origin, as specific morphological features were more frequent in non-affected parents with higher genetic loading of schizophrenia. In addition, the association of finger length difference in schizophrenia found in this study has never been reported elsewhere. Our study showed that five out of 13 morphological features in the propose checklist may be used as biomarkers for schizophrenia, either for clinical practice or research purposes. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Embryo
  • Minor physical anomalies
  • Morphological features
  • Neuro-developmental hypothesis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Waldrop scale
  • adult
  • article
  • Chinese
  • controlled study
  • epicanthus
  • female
  • head circumference
  • human
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • morphology
  • population research
  • prevalence
  • priority journal
  • reliability
  • schizophrenia
  • sensitivity and specificity
  • statistical analysis
  • Adult
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • Checklist
  • Extremities
  • Female
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


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