Early prediction of treatment response could reduce exposure to ineffective treatments and optimize the use of medical resources. Neuroimaging techniques have been used to identify biomarkers that are predictive of outcomes. The aims of this study were to investigate orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) thickness as a potential morphometric biomarker to discriminate outcomes in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and then to reexamine this biomarker in an independent cohortMethods:
Using a logistic regression model based on the mean baseline thickness of subregions of the OFC, we estimated the probability of treatment response in 29 treatment-naïve OCD patients who participated in a clinical trial. That algorithm was then tested in an independent cohort of 12 patients with a confirmed diagnosis of refractory OCDResults:
Among the treatment-naïve OCD patients, measures of OFC thickness statistically significantly differentiated responders (n = 13) and nonresponders (n = 16), with an overall classification accuracy of ≈80%, a sensitivity of 77% (10/13), and a specificity of 81% (13/16). Of the refractory OCD patients in the second independent cohort, 67% were correctly classified as nonresponders. The most discriminative measures in the initial cohort of treatment-naïve patients were the thicknesses of the left and right medial OFC (P = .009 and P = .028, respectively)Conclusions:
We found OFC thickness to be a strong predictor of treatment response in treatment-naïve OCD patients. Although there are not yet any brain imaging biomarkers with clinical utility, our results highlight the potential of these measures as tools for predicting treatment outcomes in OCD.