Introduction - Cortical thickness (CT) and surface area (SA) are established biomarkers of brain pathology in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Structural covariance networks (SCN) constructed from CT and SA may represent developmental associations, or unique interactions between brain regions, possibly influenced by a common causal antecedent. The ENIGMA-PGC PTSD Working Group aggregated PTSD and control subject data from 29 cohorts in five countries (3439). Methods - Using Destrieux Atlas, we built SCNs and compared centrality measures between PTSD subjects and controls. Centrality is a graph theory measure derived using SCN. Results - Notable nodes with higher CT-based centrality in PTSD compared to controls were left fusiform gyrus, left superior temporal gyrus, and right inferior temporal gyrus. We found sex-based centrality differences in bilateral frontal lobe regions, left anterior cingulate, left superior occipital cortex and right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Comorbid PTSD and MDD showed higher CT-based centrality in the right anterior cingulate gyrus, right parahippocampal gyrus and lower SA-based centrality in left insular gyrus. Conclusion - Unlike previous studies with smaller sample sizes (less than 318), our study found differences in centrality measures using a sample size of 3439 subjects. This is the first cross-sectional study to examine SCN interactions with age, sex, and comorbid MDD. Although limited to group level inferences, centrality measures offer insights into nodal relationship to the entire functional connectome unlike approaches like seed-based connectivity or independent component analysis. Nodes having higher centrality have greater structural or functional connections, lending them invaluable for translational treatments like neuromodulation.
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