Reduced gray matter volumes in the superior temporal gyrus and its subregions, such as Heschl’s gyrus (HG) and the planum temporale (PT), have been reported in schizophrenia (Sz). However, it remains unclear whether patients exhibit an altered sulcogyral pattern on the superior temporal plane.
This magnetic resonance imaging study examined the distribution of HG duplication patterns [i.e., single HG, common stem duplication (CSD), or complete posterior duplication (CPD)] and their relationships with clinical variables and gray matter volumes in the HG and PT of 64 first-episode (FE) patients with Sz and 64 healthy controls.
The prevalence of duplicated HG patterns was significantly higher and gray matter volumes in the HG and PT of both hemispheres were smaller in FESz patients than in healthy controls. The right CPD pattern in the FESz group was associated with less severe positive symptoms. In the FESz and control groups, CSD and CPD patterns correlated with larger volumes in the HG and PT, respectively.
The present results revealed an altered HG duplication pattern at the earliest phase of Sz, which may reflect early neurodevelopmental anomalies. However, reduced HG and PT volumes in the FESz were not explained by this sulcogyral pattern only, supporting the complex superior temporal pathology of Sz.

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